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Henrg US. Sage 


Date Due 



■ awwiiiiJi i i ii 



3 1924 027 097 629 




Cornell University 

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tine Cornell University Library. 

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the United States on the use of the text. 


Legends of the middle ages 




" Saddle the Hippogriffs, ye Muses nine. 
And straight ua^U ride to the land of old Romance .*' 




Copyright, 1896, by 
American Book Company. 

B — P2 




" Men lykyn jestis for to here, 
And romans rede in diuers manere 

" Of Brute that baron bold of hond, 
The first conqueroure of Englond ; 
Of kyng Artour that was so riche, 
Was non in his tyme him Uche. 

" How kyng CharUs and Rowlond fawght 
With sarzyns nold they be cawght ; 
Of Tristrem and of Ysoude the swete, 
How tney with love first gan mete; 

" Stories of diuerce thynggis, 
Of pryncis, prelatis, and of kynggis ; 
Many songgis of diuers ryme, 
As english, frensh, and latyne." 

Cursor Mundi. 


THE object of this work is to familiarize young students with 
the legends which form the staple of mediaeval literature. 

While they may owe more than is apparent at first sight to the 
classical writings of the palmy days of Greece and Rome, these 
legends are very characteristic of the people who told them, and 
they are the best exponents of the customs, manners, and beliefs 
of the time to which they belong. They have been repeated in 
poetry and prose with endless variations, and some of our greatest 
modem writers have deemed them worthy of a new dress, as is 
seen in Tennyson's " Idyls of the King," Goethe's " Reineke 
Fuchs," Tegn6r's " Frithiof Saga," Wieland's " Oberon," Morris's 
" Story of Sigurd," and many shorter works by these and less 
noted writers. 

These mediaeval legends form a sort of literary quarry, from 
which, consciously or unconsciously, each writer takes some 
stones wherewith to build his own edifice. Many allusions in the 
literature of our own day lose much of their force simply because 
these legends are not available to the general reader. 

It is the aim of this volume to bring them within reach of all, 
and to condense them so that they may readily be understood. 
Of course in so limited a space only an outline of each legend 
can be given, with a few short quotations from ancient and modern 
writings to illustrate the style of the poem in which they are em- 
bodied, or to lend additional force to some point in the story. 

This book is, therefore, not a manual of mediasval literature, 



or a series of critical essays, but rather a synopsis of some of 
the epics and romances which formed the main part of the cul- 
ture of those days. Very httle prominence has been given to 
the obscure early versions, all disquisitions have been carefully 
avoided, and explanations have been given only where they . 
seemed essential. 

The wealth and variety of imagination displayed in these leg- 
ends will, I hope, prove that the epoch to which they belong has 
been greatly mahgned by the term " dark ages," often appUed to it. 
Such was the favor which the legendary style of composition 
enjoyed with our ancestors that several of the poems analyzed 
in this volume were among the first books printed for general 
circulation in Europe. 

Previous to the invention of printing, however, they were famil- 
iar to rich and poor, thanks to the scalds, bards, trouveres, trou- 
badours, minstrels, and minnesingers, who, like the rhapsodists 
of Greece, spent their lives in wandering from place to place, 
relating or reciting these tales to all they met in castle, cottage, 
and inn. 

A chapter on the Romance literature of the period in the differ- 
ent countries of Europe, and a complete index, will, it is hoped, 
fit this volume for handy reference in schools and libraries, where 
the author trusts it may soon find its own place and win a warm 



I. Beowulf 9 

II. GuDRUN 22 

III. Reynard the Fox 35 


v; Langobardian Cycle of Myths 86 

VI.^The Amblings loo 

VII.'^Dietrich von Bern no 

VIII. Charlemagne and his Paladins .... 129 

IX. The Sons of Aymon 152 

X. HuoN OF Bordeaux ....... 163 

XI. Titurel and the Holy Grail 182 

XII. Merlin 204 

XIII. The Round Table 214 

XIV. Tristan and Iseult 234 

XV. The Story of Frithiof 246 

XVI. Ragnar Lodbrok 269 

XVII. The Cid 282 

XVIII. General Survey of Romance Literature . . 301 


Coronation of Charlemagne— L6vy Frontispiece 

Funeral of a Northern Chief — Cormon To face page i8 

GuDRUN AND THE SwAN— Kepler " 31 

Brown the Bear caught in the Log— Wagner. . . " 40 

Reynard preparing for Battle— Kaulbach " 51 

Gunther winning his Bride— Keller " 60 

Siegfried's Body borne home by the Huntsmen 

— Pixis " 71 

AsPRiAN SLAYING THE LiON— Keller " 90 

FaLKE KILLS THE GlANT— Keller " 112 

The Victorious Huns— Checa " 121 

The Tomb of Theodoric " 128 

The Death of Roland— Keller " 145 

HUGN BEFORE THE PoPE— Gabriel Max " 164 

HuON and Amanda leap overboard— Gabriel Max " 175 

Parzival uncovering the Holy Grail— Pixis .... " 189 

Arrival of Lohengrin— Pixis " 203 

The Beguiling of Merlin— Burne-Jones " 212 

Sir Lancelot du Lac— Sir John Gilbert . " 220 

Elaine— Rosenthal " 228 

Iseult signals Tristan— Pixis " 242 

The Lovers at Balder's Shrine— Kepler " 256 

Frithiof at the Court of King Ring— Kepler. . . " 264 

Strategy of Hastings— Keller " 277 

The Cid's Last Victory— Rochegrosse " 299 




" List ! we have learnt a tale of other years, 
Of kings and warrior Danes, a wondrous tale. 
How Eethelings bore them in the brunt of war.'' 

Beowulf (Conybeare's tr.). 

The most ancient relic of literature of the spoken languages 
of modem Europe is undoubtedly the epic poem "Beowulf," 
which is supposed to have been composed by the Anglo-Saxons 
previous to their invasion of England. Although the poem prob- 
ably belongs to the fifth century, the only existing manuscript is 
said to date from the ninth or tenth century. 

This curious work, in rude alliterative verse (for rhyme was in- 
troduced in England only after the Norman Conquest), is the 
most valuable old English manuscript in the British Museum. 
Although much damaged by fire, it has been carefully studied by 
learned men. They have patiently restored the poem, the story 
of which is as follows : 

Hrothgar (the modern Roger), King of Denmark, was a de- 
scendant of Odin, being the third monarch of the celebrated 
dynasty of the Skioldungs. They proudly traced origin of the 
their ancestry to Skeaf, or Skiold, Odin's son, who Skioldungs. 
mysteriously drifted to their shores. He was then but an infant, 
and lay in the middle of a boat, on a sheaf of ripe wheat, sur- 
rounded by priceless weapons and jewels. As the people were 



seeking for a ruler, they immediately recognized the hand of 
Odin in this mysterious advent, proclaimed the child king, and 
obeyed him loyally as long as he Uved. When he felt death 
draw near, Skeaf, or Skiold, ordered a vessel to be prepared, lay 
down in the midst on a sheaf of grain or on a funeral pyre, and 
drifted out into the wide ocean, disappearing as mysteriously as 
he had come. 

Such being his lineage, it is no wonder that Hrothgar became a 

mighty chief; and as he had amassed much wealth in the cotirse 

Construction of ^ long Hfc of warfare, he resolved to devote part 

of Heorot. gf it to the Construction of a magnificent hall, called 

Heorot, where he might feast his retainers and listen to the heroic 

lays of the scalds during the long winter evenings. 

" A hall of mead, such as for space and state 
The elder time ne'er boasted ; there with free 
And princely hand he might dispense to all 
(Save the rude crowd and men of evil minds) 
The good he held from Heaven. That gallant work. 
Full well I wot, through many a land was known 
Of festal halls the brightest and the best." 

Beowulf (Conybeare's tr.). 

The inauguration of this hall was celebrated by a sumptuous 
entertainment; and when all the guests had retired, the king's 
bodyguard, composed of thirty-two dauntless warriors, lay down 
in the hall to rest. When morning dawned, and the servants 
appeared to remove the couches, they beheld with horror the 
floor and walls all stained with blood, the only trace of the knights 
who had gone to rest there in full armor. 

Gigantic, blood-stained footsteps, leading directly from the fes- 
tive hall to the sluggish waters of a deep mountain lake, or fiord, 
The monster fumished the only clew to their disappearance. 
Grendei. Hrothgar, the king, beholding these, declared that 
they had been made by Grendei, a descendant of the giants, 
whom a magician had driven out of the country, but who had 
evidently returned to renew his former depredations. 


' A haunter of marshes, a holder of moors. 

The land he inhabits ; dark, wolf-haunted ways 
Of the windy hillside, by the treacherous tarn; 
Or where, covered up in its mist, the hill stream 
Downward flows." 

Beowulf CKc^ry^s tr.). 

As Hrothgar was now too old to wield a sword with his former 
skill, his first impulse was, of course, to offer a princely reward 
to any man brave enough to free the country of this terrible 
scourge. As soon as this was known ten of his doughtiest 
knights volunteered to camp in the hall on the following 
night, and attack the monster Grendel should he venture to 

But in spite of the valor of these experienced warriors, and of 
the efficacy of their oft-tried weapons, they too succumbed. A 
minstrel, hiding in a dark corner of the hall, was the only one 
who escaped Grendel's fury, and after shudderingly describing 
the massacre he had witnessed, he fled in terror to the kingdom 
of the Geates (Jutes or Goths). There he sang his lays in the 
presence of Hygelac, the king, and of his nephew Beowulf (the 
Bee Hunter), and roused their deepest interest by describing the 
visit of Grendel and the vain but heroic defense of the brave 
knights. Beowulf, having listened intently, eagerly questioned 
the scald, and, learning from him that the monster still haunted 
those regions, impetuously declared his intention to visit Hroth- 
gar's kingdom, and show his valor by fighting and, if possible, 
slaying Grendel. 

" He was of mankind 
In might the strongest, 
At that day 
Of this life, 
Noble and stalwart. 
He bade him a sea ship, 
A goodly one, prepare. 


Quoth he, the war king, 
Over the swan's road. 
Seek he would 
The mighty monarch, 
Since he wanted men." 

^^(?a/«^ (Longfellow's tr,). 

Although very young, Beowulf was quite distinguished, and had 
already won great honors in a batde against the Swedes. He had 
Beowulf and ^Iso proved his endurance by entering into a swim- 
Breka. xcivag match with Breka, one of the lords at his 
uncle's court. The two champions had started out, sword in 
hand and fully armed, and, after swimming in concert for five 
whole days, they were parted by a great tempest. 

" Then were we twain there on the sea 
Space of five nights, till the floods severed us, 
The welling waves. Coldest of weathers. 
Shadowy night, and the north wind 
Battelous shocked on us ; wild were the waters. 
And were the mere-fishes stirred up in mind." 


Breka was driven ashore, but the current bore Beowulf toward 
some jagged cliffs, where he desperately clung, trying to resist the 
fury of the waves, and using his sword to ward off the attacks of 
hostile mermaids, nicors (nixies), and other sea monsters. The 
gashed bodies of these slain foes soon drifted ashore, to Hygelac's 
amazement ; but when Beowulf suddenly reappeared and explained 
that they had fallen by his hand, his joy knew no bounds. As 
Breka had returned first, he received the prize for swimming ; but 
the king gave Beowulf his treasured sword, Nageling, and praised 
him publicly for his valor. 

Beowulf had successfully encountered these monsters of the 
deep in the roaring tide, so he now expressed a hope that he 
might prevail against Grendel also ; and embarking with fourteen 
chosen men, he sailed to Denmark, where he was challenged by 


the coast guard and warmly welcomed as soon as he had made 
his purpose known. 

" 'What men are ye, 

War gear wearing, 

Host in harness. 

Who thus the brown keel 

Over the water street 

Leading, come 

Hither over the sea ? ' " 

Beowulf (Longfellow's tr.). 

Hrothgar received Beowulf most hospitably, but vainly tried to 
dissuade him from his perilous undertaking. Then, after a sump- 
tuous banquet, where the mead flowed with true northern lavish- 
ness, Hrothgar and his suite sadly left the hall Heorot in charge 
of the brave band of strangers, whom they never expected to see 

As soon as the king had departed, Beowulf bade his companions 
lie down and sleep in peace, promising to watch over them, yet 
laying aside both armor and sword ; for he knew Beowulf and 
that weapons were of no avail against the monster, Grendei. 
whom he intended to grapple with hand to hand should it really 

" ' I have heard 
That that foul miscreant's dark and stubborn flesh 
Recks not the force of arms : — such I forswear, 
Nor sword nor burnish'd shield of ample round 
Ask for the war ; all weaponless, hand to hand 
(So may great Higelac's smile repay my toil) 
Beowulf will grapple with the mighty foe.' " 

^^owK^ (Conybeare's tr.). 

The warriors had no sooner stretched themselves out upon the 
benches in the hall than, overcome by the oppressive air as well 
as by mead, they sank into a profound sleep. Beowulf alone re- 
mained awake, watching for Grendel's coming. In the early 
morning, when all was very still, the giant appeared, tore asun- 


der the iron bolts and bars which secured the door, and striding 
into the hall, enveloped in a long, damp mantle of clammy mist, 
he pounced upon one of the sleepers. He tore him limb from 
Hmb, greedily drank his blood, and devoured his flesh, leaving 
naught but the head, hands, and feet of his unhappy victim. 
This ghastly repast only whetted the fiend's ravenous appetite, 
however, so he eagerly stretched out his hands in the darkness to 
seize and devour another warrior. Imagine his surprise and dis- 
may when he suddenly found his hand caught in so powerful a 
grasp that all his efforts could not wrench it free! 

Grendel and Beowulf struggled in the darkness, overturning 
tables and couches, shaking the great hall to its very foundations, 
and causing the walls to creak and groan under the violence of 
their furious blows. But in spite of Grendel's gigantic stature, 
Beowulf clung so fast to the hand and arm he had grasped that 
Grendel, making a desperate effort to free himself by a jerk, tore 
the whole limb out of its socket ! Bleeding and mortally wounded, 
he then beat a hasty retreat to his marshy den, leaving a long, 
bloody trail behind him. 

" Soon the dark wanderer's ample shoulder bore 
A gaping wound, each starting sinew crack'd. 
And from its socket loosed the strong-knit joint. — 
The victory was with Beowulf, and the foe. 
Howling and sick at heart, fled as he might, 
To seek beneath the mountain shroud of mist 
His joyless home ; for well he knew the day 
Of death was on him, and his doom was seal'd." 

Beowulf (Conybeare's tr.). 

As for Beowulf, exhausted but triumphant, he stood in the mid- 
dle of the hall, where his companions crowded around him, gazing 
in speechless awe at the mighty hand and limb, and the clawlike 
fingers, far harder than steel, which no power had hitherto been 
able to resist. 

At dawn Hrothgar and his subjects also appeared. They heard 
with wonder a graphic account of the night's adventures, and 



gazed their fill upon the monster's limb, which hung like a trophy 
from the ceiling of Heorot. After the king had warmly congratu- 
lated Beowulf, and bestowed upon him many rich gifts, he gave 
orders to cleanse the hall, to hang it with tapestry, and to prepare 
a banquet in honor of the conquering hero. 

While the men were feasting, listening to the lays of the scalds, 
and carrying the usual toasts, Wealtheow, Hrothgar's beauti- 
ful wife, the Queen of Denmark, appeared. She 
pledged Beowulf in a cup of wine, wHich he gal- ored by the 
lantly drained after she had touched it to her lips. ''"^^"" 
Then she bestowed upon him a costly necklace (the famous 
Brisinga-men, according to some authorities) 1 and a ring of the 
finest gold. 

" ' Wear these,' she cried, ' since thou hast in the fight 
So borne thyself, that wide as ocean rolls 
Round our wind-beaten cliffs his brimming waves, 
All gallant souls shall speak thy eulogy.' " 

Beowulf (Conybeare's tr.). 

When the banquet was ended, Hrothgar escorted his guests to 
more pleasant sleeping apartments than they had occupied the 
night before, leaving his own men to guard the hall, where Gren- 
del would never again appear. The warriors, fearing no danger, 
slept in peace ; but in the dead of night the mother of the giant, 
as grewsome and uncanny a monster as he, glided into the hall, 
secured the bloody trophy still hanging from the ceiling, and car- 
ried it away, together with -(Eschere (Askher), the king's bosom 

When Hrothgar learned this new loss at early dawn he was 
overcome with grief ; and when Beowulf, attracted by the sound 
of weeping, appeared at his side, he moi-u-nfully told him of his 
irretrievable loss. 

" 'Ask not after happiness; 
Sorrow is renewed 
To the Danes' people. 

1 See Guerber's Myths of Northern Lands, p. 127. 


^schere is dead, 

Yrmenlaf 's 

Elder brother, 

The partaker of my secrets 

And my counselor, 

Who stood at my elbow 

When we in battle 

Our mail hoods defended, 

When troops rushed together 

And boar crests crashed.' " 

^££7OT7/^ (Metcalfe's tr.). 

The young hero immediately volunteered to finish his work 

and avenge ^schere by seeking and attacking Grendel's mother 

in her own retreat ; but as he knew the perils of 

Beowulf and . .. -,,. n i-'j* 

Grendel's this expedition, Beowulf first gave explicit direc- 
mother. ^^^^ ^^^ ^^ disposal of his personal property in 
case he never returned. Then, escorted by the Danes and Geates, 
he followed the bloody track until he came to a cliff overhanging 
the waters of the mountain pool. There the bloody traces ceased, 
but ^Scheie's gory head was placed aloft as a trophy. 

" Now paused they sudden where the pine grove clad 
The hoar rock's brow, a dark and joyless shade. 
Troublous and blood-stain'd roU'd the stream below. 
Sorrow and dread were on the Scylding's host, 
In each man's breast deep working ; for they saw 
On that rude cliff young ^schere's mangled head." 

Beowulf (Conybeare's tr.). 

Beowulf gazed down into the deep waters, saw that they also 
were darkly dyed with the monster's blood, and, after taking leave 
of Hrothgar, bade his men await his return for two whole days 
and nights ere they definitely gave him up for lost. He then 
plunged bravely into the bloody waters, swam about seeking for 
the monster's retreat, and dived deep. At last, descrying a phos- 
phorescent gleam in the depths, he quickly made his way thither, 
shrewdly conjecturing that it must be Grendel's hiding place. But 


on his way thither he was repeatedly obliged to have recourse to his 
sword to defend himself against the clutches of countless hideous 
sea monsters which came rushing toward him on all sides. 

" While thro' crystal gulfs were gleaming 
Ocean depths, with wonders teeming; 
Shapes of terror, huge, unsightly, 
Loom'd thro' vaulted roof translucent." 

J. C. Jones, Valhalla. 

A Strong current seized Beowulf, and swept him irresistibly 
along into the slimy retreat of Grendel's mother. She clutched 
him fast, wrestled with him, deprived him of his sword, flung him 
down, and finally tried to pierce his armor with her trenchant 
knife. Fortunately, however, the hero's armor was weapon-proof, 
and his muscles were so strong that before she could do him any 
harm he had freed himself from her grasp. Seizing a large sword 
hanging upon a projection of rock near by, he dealt her a mighty 
blow, severing her head from the trunk at a single stroke. The 
blood pouring out of the cave mingled with the waters without, 
and turned them to such a lurid hue that Hrothgar and his men 
sorrowfully departed, leaving the Geates alone to watch for the 
return of the hero, whom they feared they would never see again. 

Beowulf, in the mean while, had rushed to the rear of the cave, 
where, finding Grendel in the last throes, he cut off his head also. 
He seized this ghastly trophy and rapidly made his way up 
through the tainted waters, which the fiery blood of the two mon- 
sters had so overheated that his sword melted in its scabbard and 
naught but the hilt remained. 

" That stout sword of proof. 
Its warrior task fulfiU'd, dropp'd to the ground 
(So work'd the venom of the felon's blood) 
A molten mass." 

Beowulf {CoTiyhtax^^ 5 tr.). 

The Geates were about to depart in sorrow, notwithstanding 
the orders they had received, when they suddenly beheld their 


beloved chief safe and sound, and bearing the evidences of his 
success. Then their cries of joy echoed and reechoed from the 
neighboring hills, and Beowulf was escorted back to Heorot, where 
he was almost overwhelmed with gifts by the grateful Danes. A 
few days later Beowulf and his companions returned home, where 
the story of their adventures, and an exhibition of all the treas- 
ures they had won, formed the principal topics of conversation. 

Several years of comparative peace ensued, ere the land was 
invaded by the Friesians, who raided the coast, burning and plun- 

Death of dering all in their way, and retreated into their ships 

Hygeiac. before Hygelac or Beowulf could overtake and 
punish them. The immediate result of this invasion was a coun- 
ter-movement on Hygelac's part. But although he successfully 
harried Friesland, he fell into an ambush just as he was about 
to leave the country, and was cruelly slain, his nephew Beowulf 
barely escaping a similar untoward fate. 

When the little army of the Geates reached home once more, 
they either buried or consumed Hygelac's remains, with his 
Weapons and battle steed, as was customary in the North. This 
ceremony ended. Queen Hygd, overwhelmed with grief, and fear- 
ing the almost inevitable dissensions arising during the long mi- 
nority of an infant king, convened the popular assembly known as 
the Thing, and bade the people set her own child's claims aside 
in favor of Beowulf. This proposal was hailed with enthusiasm ; 
but Beowulf refused to usurp his kinsman's throne, and raising 
Hardred, Hygelac's infant son, upon his shield, he declared that 
he would protect and uphold him as long as he lived. The people, 
following his example, swore fealty to the new king, and faith- 
fully kept this oath until he died. 

Hardred, having attained his majority, ruled wisely and well ; 
but his career was cut short by the sons of Othere, the discoverer 
of the North Cape. These youths had rebelled against their 
father's authority and taken refuge at Hardred's coiu't ; but when 
the latter advised a reconciliation, the eldest youth angrily drew 
his sword and slew him. 



This crime was avenged, with true northern promptitude, by 
Wiglaf, one of the king's followers ; and while the second youth 
effected an escape, Beowulf was summoned by the Beowulf made 
Thing to accept the now vacant throne. As there "''"e- 

were none to dispute his claims, the hero no longer refused to 
rule, and he bravely defended his kingdom against Eadgils, 
Othere's second son. Eadgils was now king of Sweden, and 
came with an armed host to avenge his brother's death ; but he 
only succeeded in losing his own life. 

A reign of forty years of comparative peace brought Beowulf 
to extreme old age. He had naturally lost much of his former 
vigor, and was therefore somewhat dismayed when a terrible, 
fire-breathing dragon took up its abode in the mountains near 
by, where it gloated over a hoard of glittering gold. 

" The ranger of the darksome night, 
The Firedrake, came." 

Beowulf (Conybeare's tr.). 

A fugitive slave, having made his way unseen into the monster's 
den during one of its temporary absences, bore away a small por- 
tion of this gold. On its return the Firedrake dis- 

, , , , , , . . , . The Firedrake. 

covered the theft, and became so furious that its 
howling and writhing shook the mountain like an earthquake. 
When night came on its rage was still unappeased, and it flew all 
over the land, vomiting venom and flames, setting houses and 
crops afire, and causing so much damage that the people were 
almost beside themselves with terror. Seeing that all their at- 
tempts to appease the dragon were utterly fruitless, and being 
afraid to attack it in its lair, they finally implored Beowulf to 
deliver them as he had delivered the Danes, and to slay this op- 
pressor, which was even worse than the terrible Grendel. 

Such an appeal could not be disregarded, and in spite of his 
advanced years Beowulf donned his armor once more. Accom- 
panied by Wiglaf and eleven of his bravest men, he then went 
out to seek the monster in its lair. At the entrance of the moun- 


tain gorge Beowulf bade his followers pause, and advancing alone 
to the monster's den, he boldly challenged it to come forth and 
begin the fray. A moment later the mountain shook as the mon- 
ster rushed out breathing fire and flame, and Beowulf felt the first 
gust of its hot breath, even through his massive shield. 

" First from his lair 
Shaking firm earth, and vomiting as he strode 
A foul and fiery blast, the monster came." 

Beowulf (Conybeare's tr.). 

A desperate struggle followed, in the course of which Beowulf's 
sword and strength both failed him. The Firedrake coiled its 
long, scaly folds about the aged hero, and was about to crush him 
to death when the faithful Wiglaf, perceiving his master's immi- 
nent danger, sprang forward and attacked the monster so fiercely 
as to cause a diversion and make it drop Beowulf to concentrate 
its attention upon him. 

Beowulf, recovering, then drew his dagger and soon put an end 
to the dragon's Ufe ; but even as it breathed its last the hero sank 
fainting to the ground. Feeling that his end was near, he warmly 
thanked Wiglaf for his timely aid, rejoiced in the death of the 
monster, and bade his faithful follower bring out the concealed 
treasure and lay it at his feet, that he might feast his eyes upon 
the ghttering gold he had won for his people's use. 

" Saw then the bold thane 
Treasure jewels many, 
Glittering gold 
Heavy on the ground. 
Wonders in the mound 
And the worm's den, 
The old twilight flier's. 
Bowls standing ; 
Vessels of men of yore, 
With the mountings fall'n off. 
There was many a helm 
Old and rusty, 


Armlets many 

Cunningly fastened. 

He also saw hang heavily 

An ensign all golden 

High o'er the hoard, 

Of hand wonders greatest, 

Wrought by spells of song, 

From which shot a hght 

So that he the ground surface 

Might perceive. 

The wonders overscan." 

The mighty treasure was all brought forth to the light of day, 
and the followers, seeing that all danger was over, crowded round 
their dying chief. He addressed them affection- Death of 
ately, and, after recapitulating the main events of Beowulf, 
his career, expressed a desire to be buried in a mighty mound on 
a projecting headland, which could be seen far out at sea, and 
would be called by his name. 

" ' And now. 

Short while I tarry here — when I am gone, 

Bid them upon yon headland's summit rear 

A lofty mound, by Rona's seagirt cliff; 

So shall my people hold to after times 

Their chieftain's memory, and the mariners 

That drive afar to sea, oft as they pass. 

Shall point to Beowulf's tomb.' " 

Beowulf (^o'a^h&sx^ s tn). 

These directions were all piously carried out by a mourning 
people, who decked his mound with the gold he had won, and 
erected above it a Bauta, or memorial stone, to show how dearly 
they had loved their brave king Beowulf, who had died to save 
them from the fury of the dragon. 



Maximilian I., Emperor of Germany, rendered a great service 
to posterity by ordering that copies of many of the ancient na- 
tional manuscripts should be made. These copies were placed 
in the imperial library at Vienna, where, after several centuries 
of almost complete neglect, they were discovered by lovers of 
early literatxu-e, in a very satisfactory state of preservation. These 
manuscripts then excited the interest of learned men, who not 
only found therein a record of the past, but gems of literature 
which are only now beginning to receive the appreciation they 

Among these manuscripts is the poem " Gudrun," belonging to 
the twelfth or thirteenth century. It is evidently compiled from 
Origin of poem two or more much older lays which are now lost, 

of Gudrun. ^^t which are alluded to in the Nibelungenlied. 
The original poem was probably Norse, and not German like the 
only existing manuscript, for there is an undoubted parallel to 
the story of the kidnaping of Hilde in the Edda. In the Edda, 
Hilde, the daughter of Hogni, escapes from home with her lover 
Hedin, and is pursued by her irate father. He overtakes the 
fugitives on an island, where a bloody conflict takes place, in 
which many of the bravest warriors die. Every night, however, 
a sorceress recalls the dead to Hfe to renew the strife, and to 
exterminate one another afresh. 

The poem " Gudrun," which is probably as old as the Nibe- 
lungenlied, and almost rivals it in interest, is one of the most valu- 


able remains of ancient German literature. It consists of thirty- 
two songs, in which are related the adventures of three genera- 
tions of the heroic family of the Hegelings. Hence it is often 
termed the " Hegeling Legend." 

The poem opens by telHng us that Hagen was the son of Sige- 
band, King of Ireland, which was evidently a place in Holland, 
and not the well-known Emerald Isle. During a Kidnaping 
great feast, when countless guests were assembled °^ Hagen. 
around his father's hospitable board, this prince, who was then 
but seven years of age, was seized by a griffin and rapidly borne 

"Young Hagen, loudly crying, was filled with dire dismay; 
The bird with mighty pinions soared high with him away." 

Gttdrun (Dippold's tr.). 

The cries of the child, and the arrows of Sigeband's men at arms, 
were equally ineffectual in checking the griffin, which flew over 
land and sea, and finally deposited its prey in its nest on the top 
of a great cliff on a desert island. One of the little griffins, wish- 
ing to reserve this delicate morsel for its own delectation, caught 
the boy up in its talons and flew away to a neighboring tree. The 
branch upon which it perched was too weak to support a double 
load, however, and as it broke the frightened griffin dropped Ha- 
gen into a thicket. Undismayed by the sharp thorns, Hagen 
quickly crept out of the griffin's reach and took refuge in a cave, 
where he found three httle girls who had escaped from the griffins 
in the same way. 

One of these children was Hilde, an Indian princess; the 
second, Hildburg, daughter of the King of Portugal ; and the third 
belonged to the royal family of Isenland. Hagen The three 
immediately became the protector of these little maidens, 
maidens, spending several years in the cave with them. He 
ventured out only when the griffins were away, to seek berries 
or shoot small game with a bow which he had made in imitation 
of those he had seen in his father's hall. 


Years passed by before Hagen found the corpse of an armed 
wan-ior, which had been washed ashore during a storm. To ap- 
propriate the armor and weapons for which he had so long and 
vainly sighed was the youth's first impulse ; his second was to 
go forth and slay the griffins which had terrorized him and his 
little companions for so many years. The griffins being dis- 
posed of, the young people roamed about the island at will, keep- 
ing a sharp lookout for any passing vessel which might convey 
them home. At last a sail came in sight! Hagen, the first 
to see it, climbed up on a rock and shouted with all his young 
strength to attract the crew's attention. 

" With might young Hagen shouted, and did not cease to shout, 
Howe'er the roaring tempest the wild waves tossed about." 

Gudrun (Dippold's tr.)- 

The sailors reluctantly drew near, gazing fearfully upon the 
three maidens, who, clad in furs and moss, resembled mermaids 
or wood nymphs. But when they heard their story they gladly 
took them on board. It was only when the island was out of 
sight, and when they were in mid-ocean, that Hagen discovered 
that he had fallen into the hands of Count Garadie, his father's 
inveterate enemy, who now proposed to use his power to treat the 
young prince as a slave. But Hagen's rude fare, and the con- 
stant exposure of the past few years, had so developed his strength 
and courage that he now flew into a Berserker rage,i flung thirty 
men one after another into the sea, and so terrified his would-be 
master that he promised to bear him and the three maidens in 
safety to his father's court. 

As Sigeband had died without leaving any other heir, Hagen 

was warmly welcomed home, and ascending the vacant throne, 

Hagen made he took to wife Hilde, the fair maiden with whom 

king. he had shared his game and berries for so many 

years. The royal couple were very happy, and Hagen ruled so 

wisely that he became a terror to his enemies and a blessing to 

1 See Guerber's Myths of Northern Lands, p. 29. 


his own subjects. Even when engaged in warfare he proved him- 
self an upright and generous man, never attacking the poor and 

" On warlike enterprises into his enemies' land 
He spared the poor from ravage of fire with powerful hand ; 
Whenever he encountered a warrior overbearing, 
He broke his burgs and slew him with dire revenge unsparing." 

Gudrun (Dippold's tr.). 

Hagen and Hilde eventually became the parents of an only 
daughter, who was called by her mother's name, and grew up so 
beautiful that many suitors soon came to Ireland 

Hilde's suitors. 

to ask for her hand. Hagen, who loved his daugh- 
ter dearly and was in no haste to part from her, first replied that 
she was far too young to think of marriage ; but when this plea 
was disputed he declared that Hilde should only marry a man 
who would defeat her father in single fight. 

As Hagen was unusually tall and strong, as well as uncom- 
monly brave, he was considered well-nigh invincible. The suit- 
ors, dismayed at this declaration, reluctantly withdrew, even 
though they were all valiant men. In those days Hettel (who 
corresponds to Hedin in the Edda story) was king of northern 
Germany and of the Hegelings. He too heard marvelous ac- 
counts of Hilde's beauty, and, as he was still unmarried, longed 
to secure her as wife. But knowing that Hagen, in his anger, 
was likely to slay any ambassador who came to his court with a 
proposal of marriage, Hettel vowed that he would rather forego 
the alliance than run the risk of losing any of his tried friends and 
faithful servants. 

" Then said the royal Hetel : ' The people all relate 
That whosoe'er will woo her incurs her father's hate. 
And for the maid has perished full many a noble knight ; 
My friends shall never suffer for me such woeful plight.' " 

Giidrun (Dippold's tr.). 

His faithful followers, Wat, Horant, and Frute, perceiving that 
his heart was set upon the maiden, finally volunteered to go and 


get her, saying that they could easily bear her away by stratagem, 
although they did not dare to ask for her openly. So they loaded 

strate of '^^^"^ vessel with merchandise, hid their weapons, 
Betters so that they should be taken for the traders they 

followers. professed to be, and sailed boldly into Hagen's 
port, where, spreading out their wares, they invited all the people 
to buy. 

Attracted by the extraordinary bargains they offered, the peo- 
ple came in crowds, and soon all the inhabitants of Balian were 
busy talking about the strange peddlers and praising their wares. 
These stories soon came to the ears of both queen and princess, 
who, summoning the merchants into their presence, asked who 
they were and whence they came. 

All three replied that they were warriors, and that, being ban- 
ished from Hettel's court, they had been forced to take up their 
present occupation to make a living. To prove the truth of their 
assertions, Wat exhibited his skill in athletic sports, while Horant 
delighted all the ladies by his proficiency in the art of minstrelsy. 

" When now the night was ended and there drew near the dawn, 
Horant began his singing, so that in grove and lawn 
The birds became all silent, because he sang so sweetly ; 
The people who were sleeping sprang from their couches fleetly. 

" The cattle in the forests forsook their pasture ground; • 
The creeping creatures playing among the grass around. 
The fishes in the water, — all in their sports were ceasing. 
The minstrel might most truly rejoice in art so pleasing. 

" Whate'er he might be singing, to no one seemed it long; 
Forgotten in the minster were priest and choral song, 
Church beJls no longer sounded so sweetly as before. 
And every one who heard him longed for the minstrel sore." 

Gudrun (Dippold's tr.). 

These soft strains so pleased the younger Hilde that she soon 
sent for the minstrel again, and Horant, finding her alone, made 
use of this opportunity to tell her of Hettel's love and longing. 


She was so touched by this declaration of love that he easily won 
from her a promise to flee with him and his companions as soon 
as a suitable opportunity occurred. 

The pretended merchants, having now achieved the real object 
of their journey, disposed of their remaining wares. They then in- 
vited the king and his family to visit their ship, and cleverly man- 
aging to separate the willing princess from her parents and train, 
they sailed rapidly away, leaving the angry father to hurl equally 
ineffectual spears, curses, and threats after them. 

The Hegehngs sailed with their prize direct to Waleis, in Hol- 
land (near the river Waal), where the impatient Hettel came to 
meet them, and tenderly embraced his beautiful ,, . 

^ Marriage of 

young bride. There their hasty nuptials were cele- Hettei and 
brated ; but, as they were about to sail away on the "''^*' 

morrow, Hettel became aware of the rapid approach of a large 
fleet. Of course the foremost vessel was commanded by Hagen, 
who had immediately started out in pursuit of his kidnaped daugh- 
ter. Landing with all his forces, he challenged his new-made 
son-in-law to fight. 

" King Hagen, full of anger, leaped forward in the sea. 
Unto the shore he waded; no braver knight than he ! 
Full many pointed arrows against him were seen flying, 
Like flakes of snow, from warriors of Hetel's host defying." 

Gudrun (Dippold's tr.). 

The result of this battle was that Hettel was wounded by Hagen, 
who, in his turn, was injured by Wat, and that the distracted 
Hilde suddenly flung herself between the contending parties, and 
by her tears and prayers soon brought about a reconciliation. 
Hagen, who had tested the courage of his new son-in-law and had 
not found it wanting, now permitted his daughter to accompany 
her husband home to Matelan, where she became the mother of 
a son, Ortwine, and of a daughter, Gudrun, who was even fairer 
than herself. 

Ortwine was fostered by Wat, the dauntless hero, who taught 


him to fight with consummate skill ; while Hilde herself presided 
over the education of Gudrun, and made her so charming that 
Gudrun's many suitors soon came, hoping to find favor in 
suitors. her eyes. These were Siegfried, King of Moor- 
land, a pagan of dark complexion ; Hartmut, son of Ludwig, 
King of Normandy ; and, lastly, Herwig of Zealand. Although 
the latter fancied that he had won some favor in the fair Gudrun's 
sight, Hettel dismissed him as well as the others, with the answer 
that his daughter was yet too young to leave the parental roof. 

Herwig, who was not ready to give the maiden up, then re- 
membered that Hettel had won his own bride only after he had 
measured his strength with her father's ; so he collected an army, 
invaded Matelan, and proved his courage by encountering Hettel 
himself in the fray. Gudrun, who stood watching the battle from 
the palace window, seeing them face to face, loudly implored 
them to spare each other, an entreaty to which they both lent a 
willing ear. 

" Fair Gudrun saw the combat, and heard the martial sound. 
Like to a ball is fortune, and ever turns around. 

" Then from the castle chamber the royal maid cried out: 
' King Hetel, noble father, the blood flows all about 
Athwart the mighty hauberks. With gore from warlike labor 
The walls are sprinkled. Herwig is a most dreadful neighbor.' " 

Gudrun (Dippold's tr.). 

Herwig had in this encounter proved himself no despicable foe ; 
so Hettel, preferring to have him as a friend, no longer opposed 
his betrothal, but even promised that the wedding festivities 
should be celebrated within a year. Herwig tarried in Matelan 
with his betrothed until he heard that Siegfried, King of Moor- 
land, jealous of his successful wooing of Gudrun, had invaded 
his kingdom and was raiding his unprotected lands. 

These tidings caused the brave young warrior to bid Gudrun 
a hasty farewell and sail home as quickly as possible, Hettel 
promising to follow him soon and help him repel the invaders, 


who were far superior in number to his small but oft-tried host. 
While Herwig and Hettel were thus occupied in warring against 
one of the disappointed suitors, Hartmut, the other, „ 
hearing that they were both away, invaded Matelan naped by 
and carried off Gudrun and all her attendants to Hartmut. 
Normandy. He paused only once on his way thither to rest for 
a short time on an island called Wiilpensand, at the mouth of the 

The bereaved Hilde, who had seen her beloved daughter thus 
carried away, promptly sent messengers to warn Hettel and Her- 
wig of Gudrun's capture. These tidings put an immediate stop 
to their warfare with Siegfried, who, joining forces with them, 
sailed in pursuit of the Normans in the vessels of a party of pil- 
grims, for they had none of their own ready for instant departure. 

Hettel, Herwig, and Siegfried reached Wiilpensand before the 
Normans had left it, and there took place a frightful conflict, in 
the course of which King Ludwig slew the aged TheAvaipen- 
Hettel. The conflict -raged until nightfall, and al- ^^^-^ battle, 
tliough there were now but few Hegelings left, they were all ready 
to renew the struggle on the morrow. What was not their chagrin, 
therefore, on discovering that the Normans had sailed away with 
their captives during the night, and were already out of sight ! 

It was useless to pursue them with so small an army ; so the 
Hegehngs sorrowfully returned home, bearing Hettel's lifeless 
body back to the disconsolate Hilde. Then they took counsel, 
and discovered that so many able fighting men had perished dur- 
ing the last war that they would be obliged to wait until the ris- 
ing generation was able to bear arms before they could invade 
Normandy with any hope of success. 

" Then spoke old Wat, the hero : ' It never can befall 
Before this country's children have grown to manhood all.' " 

Gudrun (Dippold's tr.). 

Gudrun, in the mean while, had arrived in Normandy, where 
she persisted in refusing to marry Hartmut. On her way thither 


the haughty princess had even ventured to remind King Ludwig 
that he had once been her father's vassal, and so roused his anger 
that he threw her overboard. But Hartmut immediately plunged 
into the water after her, rescued her from drowning, and when he 
had again seen her safe in the boat, angrily reproved his father 
for his hasty conduct. 

" He said : 'Why would you drown her who is to be my wife, 
The fair and charming Gudrun ? I love her as my life. 
Another than my father, if he had shown such daring. 
Would lose his life and honor from wrath of mine unsparing.' " 

Gudrun (Dippold's tr.). 

After this declaration on the part of the young heir, none 
dared at first treat Gudrun with any disrespect ; and GerUnda and 

Gudrun a Ortrun, the mother and sister of Hartmut, wel- 
captive. comed her as she landed on their shores. Ger- 
linda's friendliness was a mere pretense, however, for she hated 
the proud maiden who scorned her son's proffered love. She 
therefore soon persuaded her son to give the gentle captive entirely 
into her charge, saying that she would make her consent to be- 
come his bride. Hartmut, who was about to depart for the war, 
and who Uttle suspected his mother's cruel intentions, bade her 
do as she pleased ; and he was no sooner out of sight than poor 
Gudrun was degraded to the rank of a servant, and treated with 
much harshness and often with actual violence. 

During three whole years Gudrun endured this cruelty in 
silence; but when Hartmut returned she was restored to her 
former state, although she still persisted in refusing his passionate 
suit. Discouraged by her obstinacy, the young man weakly con- 
sented to abandon her again to Geriinda's tender mercies. The 
princess was now made to labor harder than ever, and she and 
Hildburg, her favorite companion and fellow captive, were daily 
sent down to the shore to wash the royal linen. 

It was winter, the snow lay thick on the ground, and Gudrun 
and her companion, barefooted and miserably clad, suffered un- 



told agonies from the cold. Besides, they were nearly ex- 
hausted, and the hope of rescue, which had sustained them dur- 
ing the past twelve years, had almost forsaken them. Their 
deliverance was near, however, and while Gudrun was washing 
on the shore, a mermaid, in the guise of a swan, came gently near 
her, and bade her be of good cheer, for her sufferings would soon 
be at an end. 

" 'Rejoice in hope,' then answered the messenger divine; 

' Thou poor and homeless maiden, great joy shall yet be thine. 

If thou wilt ask for tidings from thy dear native land, 

To comfort thee, great Heaven has sent me to this strand.' " 

Gudrun (Dippold's tr.). 

The swan maiden then informed her that her brother Ortwine 
had grown up, and that he would soon come with brave old Wat 
and the longing Herwig to deliver her. 

The next day, in spite of the increased cold, Gerlinda again 
roughly bade the maidens go down to the shore and wash, refus- 
ing to allow them any covering except one rough linen garment. 

" They then took up the garments and went upon their way. 
' May God let me,' said Gudrun, ' remind you of this day.' 
With naked feet they waded there through the ice and snow ; 
The noble maids, all homeless, were filled with pain and woe." 

Gudrun (Dippold's tr.). 

Gudrun and Hildburg had barely begun their usual task, how- 
ever, ere a small boat drew near, in which they recognized Her- 
wig and Ortwine. All unconscious of their identity Gudrun's 
at first, the young men inquired about Gudrun. She -JeUverance. 
herself, to test their affection, replied that the princess was dead, 
and did not allow them to catch a glimpse of her face until she 
beheld Herwig's emotion at these tidings, and heard him protest 
that he would be faithful to her unto death. 

" There spoke the royal Herwig : ' As long as lasts my life, 
I'll mourn for her; the maiden was to become my wife.' " 

Gudrun (Dippold's tr.). 


The lovers, who had been equally true, now fell into each 
other's arms. Ortwine was overjoyed at finding his sister and her 
companion, having long secretly loved the latter, so he poured 
out an avowal of his passion, and won from Hildburg a promise 
to be his wife. The first moments of joyful reunion over, Herwig 
would fain have carried Gudrun and Hildburg back to camp with 
him ; but Ortwine proudly declared that he had come to claim 
them openly, and would bear them away from Normandy hon- 
orably, in the guise of princesses, rather than by stealth. 

Promising to rescue them on the morrow, the young men took 
leave of the maidens. Hildburg conscientiously finished her task, 
but Gudrun proudly flung the linen into the sea and returned to 
the palace empty-handed, saying that it did not become her to do 
any more menial labor, since she had been kissed by two kings. 
Gerlinda, hearing her confess that she had flung the linen into the 
sea, ordered her to be scourged ; but when Gudrun turned upon 
her and proudly announced that she would take her revenge on the 
morrow, when she would preside over the banquet hall as queen, 
Gerlinda concluded that she had decided to accept Hartmut. 

The mother, therefore, flew to him to impart the joyful tidings. 
In his delight he would fain have embraced Gudrun, who, however, 
haughtily bade him refrain from saluting a mere washerwoman. 
Becoming aware only then of her sorry plight, the prince with- 
drew, sternly ordering that her maidens_ should again be restored 
to her, that her every command should be fulfilled as if she were 
already queen, and that all should treat her with the utmost re- 
spect. These orders were executed without delay, and while 
Hartmut was preparing for his wedding on the morrow, Gudrun, 
again clad in royal attire, with her maidens around her, whispered 
the tidings of their coming dehverance. Morning had barely 
dawned when Hildburg, gazing out of the window, saw the 
castle entirely surrounded by the Hegelings' forces ; and at cock- 
crow old Wat's horn pealed forth a loud defiance, rousing the 
Normans from pleasant dreams, and caUing them to battle instead 
of to the anticipated wedding. 


" The morning star had risen upon the heavens high, 
When to the castle window a beauteous maid drew nigh, 
In order to espy there and watch the break of day. 
Whereby from royal Gudrun she would obtain rich pay. 

" There looked the noble maiden and saw the morning glow. 
Reflected in the water, as it might well be so, 
Were seen the shining helmets and many bucklers beaming. 
The castle was surrounded; with arms the fields were gleaming." 

Gudrun (Dippold'^ tr.). 

The battle was very fierce, and the poem enumerates many of 
the cuts and thrusts given and received. Clashing swords and 
streams of gore now monopolize the reader's attention. In the 
fray Herwig slew King Ludwig. Gudrun was rescued by Hart- 
mut from the hands of Gerlinda, who had just bidden her servants 
put her to death, so that her friends should not take her alive. 
Next the Norman prince met his rival and fought bravely. He 
was about to succumb, however, when his sister Ortrun, who 
throughout had been gentle and loving to Gudrun, implored her 
to save her brother's life. Gudrun, touched by this request, 
called out of the casement to Herwig, who, at a word from her, 
sheathed his sword, and contented himself with taking Hartmut 

The castle was duly plundered, the whole town sacked, and 
Wat, bursting into the palace, began to slay all he met. The 
women, in terror, then crowded around Gudrun, Death of 
imploring her protection. Among these were Or- Qeriinda. 
trun and Gerlinda ; but while Gudrun would have protected the 
former at the cost of her hfe, she allowed Wat to kill the latter, 
who had deserved such a death in punishment for all her cruelty. 

When the massacre was over, the victors celebrated their tri- 
umph by a grand banquet, at which Gudrun, fulfilling her boast, 
actually presided as queen. 

" Now from the bitter contest the warriors rested all. 
There came the royal Herwig into King Ludwig's hall, 



Together with his champions, their gear with blood yet streaming. 
Dame Gudrun well received him ; her heart with love was teeming." 

Gudrun (Dippold's tr.). 

When the banquet was over, the Hegelings set sail, taking 
with them the recovered maidens, all the spoil they had won, and 
their captives, Hartmut and Ortrun ; and on reaching Matelan 
they were warmly welcomed by Hilde, who was especially re- 
joiced to see her daughter once more. 

"The queen drew near to Gudrun. Could any one outweigh 
The joy they felt together, with any wealth or treasure ? 
When they had kissed each.other their grief was changed to pleasure." 

Gudrun (Dippold's tr.). 

Shortly after their return home a fourfold wedding took place. 
Gudrun married her faithful Herwig, Ortwine espoused Hildburg, 

A fourfold Siegfried consoled himself for Gudrun's loss by tak- 

wedding. jug the fair Ortrun to wife, and Hartmut received 
with the hand of Hergart, Hervidg's sister, the restitution not only 
of his freedom but also of his kingdom. 

At the wedding banquet Horant, who, in spite of his advanced 
years, had lost none of his musical skill, played the wedding 
march with such success that the queens simultaneously flung 
their crowns at his feet, — an offering which he smilingly refused, 
telling them that crowns were perishable, but that the poet's song 
was immortal. 

" The aged minstrel drew his harp still closer to his breast, 
Gazed at the jeweled coronets as this thought he expressed : 
' Fair queens, I bid you wear them until your locks turn gray ; 
Those crowns, alas ! are fleeting, but song will live alway.' " 

NiENDORF (H. A. G.'s tr.). 



Among primitive races, as with children, animal stories are much 
enjoyed, and form one of the first stages in literature. The old- 
est of these tales current in the middle ages is the epic of Reineke 
Fuchs, or Reynard the Fox. This poem was carried by the ancient 
Franks across the Rhine, became fully acclimated in France, 
and then returned to Germany by way of Flanders, where it was 

After circulating from mouth to mouth almost all over Europe,' 
during many centuries, it was first committed to writing in the 
Netherlands, where the earliest manuscript, dating from the 
eleventh or twelfth century, gives a Latin version of the tale. 

" The root of this saga lies in the harmless natural simplicity 
of a primeval people. We see described the delight which the 
rude child of nature takes in all animals, — in their origin of 
sKm forms, their gleaming eyes, their fierceness, animal epics, 
their nimbleness and cuiming. Such sagas would naturally have 
their origin in an age when the ideas of shepherd and hunter 
occupied a great portion of the intellectual horizon of the people ; 
when the herdman saw in the ravenous bear one who was his 
equal, and more than his equal, in force and adroitness, the cham- 
pion of the woods and wilds; when the hunter, in his lonely 
ramble through the depths of the forest, beheld in the hoary 
wolf and red fox, as they stole along,— hunters like himself,— 
mates, so to say, and companions, and whom he therefore ad- 
dressed as such. ... So that originally this kind of poetry was 



the exponent of a peculiar sort of feeling prevailing among the 

--■'people, and had nothing whatever to do with the didactic or 

satiniefalthough at a later period satiric allusions began to be 

interwoven with it." 

The story has been rewritten by many poets and prose writers. 
It has been translated into almost every European language, and 
was remodeled from one of the old mediaeval poems by Goethe, 
who has given it the form in which it will doubtless henceforth 
be known. His poem " Reineke Fuchs " has been commented 
upon by Carlyle and translated by Rogers, from whose version 
all the following quotations have been extracted. 

As was the custom among the Franks under their old Mero- 
vingian rulers, the animals all assembled at Whitsuntide around 
The animals' their king, Nobcl the Kon, who ruled over all the 

assembly. forest. This assembly, like the Champ de Mars, 
its prototype, was convened not only for the purpose of deciding 
upon the undertakings for the following year, but also as a special 
ttbunal, where all accusations were made, all complaints heard, 
and justice meted out to all. The animals were all present, all ex- 
cept Reynard the fox, who, it soon became apparent, was accused 
of many a dark deed. Every beast present testified to some crime 
committed by him, and all accused him loudly except his nephew, 
Grimbart the badger. 

" And yet there was one who was absent, 
Reineke Fox, the rascal ! who, deeply given to mischief, 
Held aloof from half the Court. As shuns a bad conscience 
Light and day, so the fox fought shy of the nobles assembled. 
One and all had complaints to make, he had all of them injured ; 
Grimbart the badger, his brother's son, alone was excepted." 

The complaint was voiced by Isegrim the wolf, who told with 

much feeling how cruelly Reynard had bhnded three of his be- 

Compiaints loved children, and how shamefully he had insulted 

against ..... 

Reynard. his Wife, the fair lady Gieremund. This accusation 
had no sooner been formulated than Wackerlos the dog came 


forward, and, speaking French, pathetically described the finding 
of a little sausage in a thicket, and its purloining by Reynard, who 
seemed to have no regard whatever for his famished condition. 

The tomcat Hintze, who at the mere mention of a sausage 
had listened more attentively, now angrily cried out that the 
sausage which Wackerlos had lost belonged by right to him, as 
he had concealed it in the thicket after stealing it from the mil- 
ler's wife. He added that he too had had much to suffer from 
Reynard, and was supported by the panther, who described how 
he had once found the miscreant cruelly beating poor Lampe 
the hare. 

"Lampe he held by the collar, 
Yes, and had certainly taken his life, if I by good fortune 
Had not happened to pass by the road. There standing you see him. 
Look and see the wounds of the gentle creature, whom no one 
Ever would think of ill treating." 

The king, Nobel, was beginning to look very stern as one after 
another rose to accuse the absent Reynard, when Grimbart the 
badger courageously began to defend hitn, and vindication of 
artfully turned the tables upon the accusers. Tak- Reynard, 
ing up their complaints one by one, he described how Reynard, 
his uncle, once entered into partnership with Isegrim. To obtain 
some fish which a carter was conveying to market, the fox had 
lain as if dead in the middle of the road. He had been picked 
up by the man for the sake of his fur, and tossed up on top of 
the load of fish. But no sooner had the carter's back been turned 
than the fox sprang up, threw all the fish down into the road to 
the expectant wolf, and only sprang down himself when the cart 
was empty. The wolf, ravenous as ever, devoured the fish as fast 
as they were thrown down, and when the fox claimed his share 
of the booty he had secured, Isegrim gave him only the bones.i 

Not content with cheating his ally once, the wolf had induced 
the fox to Steal a suckling pig from the larder of a sleeping peas- 
ant. With much exertion the cunning Reynard had thrown the 

1 For Russian version see Guerber's Contes et L^gendes, vol. i., p. 93. 


prize out of the window to the waiting wolf ; but when he asked 
for a portion of the meat as reward, he was dismissed with noth- 
ing but the piece of wood upon which it had been hung. 

The badger further proceeded to relate that Reynard had 
wooed GieremuHd seven years before, when she was still un- 
mated, and that if Isegrim chose to consider that an insult, it 
was only on a par with the rest of his accusations, for the king 
could readily see that Reynard was sorely injured instead of being 

Then, encouraged by the favorable impression he had pro- 
duced, Grimbart airily disposed of the cases of Wackerlos and 
Hintze by proving that they had both stolen the disputed sau- 
sage, after which he went on to say that Reynard had undertaken 
to instruct Lampe the hare in psalmody, and that the ill treatment 
which the panther had described was only a little wholesome cas- 
tigation inflicted by the teacher upon a lazy and refractory pupil. 

" Should not the master his pupil 
Sometimes chastise when he will not observe, and is stubborn in evil? 
If boys were never punished, were thoughtlessness always passed over, 
Were bad behavior allowed, how would our juveniles grow up ? " 

These plausible explanations were not without their effect, and 
when Grimbart went on to declare that, ever since Nobel pro- 
claimed a general truce and amnesty among all the animals of 
the forest, Reynard had turned hermit and spent all his time in 
fasting, almsgiving, and prayer, the complaint was about to be 

Suddenly, however, Henning the cock appeared, followed by 
his two sons, Kryant and Kantart, bearing the mangled remains 
story of Hen- of a hen upon a bier. In broken accents the 
ning the cock, bereaved father related how happily he had dwelt 
in a convent henyard, with the ten sons and fourteen daughters 
which his excellent consort had hatched and brought up in a 
single summer. His only anxiety had been caused by the con- 
stant prowling of Reynard, who, however, had been successfully 


kept at a distance by the watchdogs. But when the general truce 
had been proclaimed, the dogs were dismissed. Reynard, in the 
garb of a monk, had made his way into the henyard to show. 
Henning the royal proclamation with the attached seal, and to 
assure him of his altered mode of living. 

Thus reassured, Henning had led his family out into the forest, 
where, alas! Reynard was lurking, and where he killed all but five 
of Henning's promising brood. They had not only been killed, 
but devoured, with the exception of Scratch-foot, whose mangled 
remains were laid at the monarch's feet in proof of the crime, as 
was customary in the mediaeval courts of justice. 

The king, angry that his truce should thus have been broken, 
and sorry for the evident grief of the father, ordered a sumptuous 
funeral for the deceased, and commanded that a stqne should be 
placed upon her grave, bearing the epitaph : 

" ' Scratch-foot, daughter of Henning, the cock, the best of the hen 
Many an egg did she lay in her nest, and was skillful in scratching. 
Here she lies, lost, alas ! to her friends, by Reineke murdered. 
AH the world should know of his false and cruel behavior, 
As for the dead they lament.' Thus ran the words that were 

Then the king, having taken advice with his council, solemn- 
ly bade Brown the bear proceed immediately to Malepartus, 
Re)mard's home, and summon him to appear at Reynard and 
court forthwith, to answer the grave charges which **'* ''^^'■• 
had been made against him. But he warned his messenger to 
behave circumspectly and to beware of the wiles of the crafty 
fox. The bear rather resented these well-meant recommenda- 
tions, and, confidently asserting his ability to take care of himself, 
set out for Reynard's abode. 

On his way to the mountains he was obHged to pass through 
an arid, sandy waste, and reached Malepartus weary and over- 
heated. Standing before the fortress, which rejoiced in many laby- 


rinthine passages, he loudly made known his errand ; and when 
Reynard, peeping cautiously out, had ascertained that Brown was 
alone, he hastened out to welcome him. 

With great volubility the fox commiserated his long journey, 
and excused the delay in admitting him under plea of an indis- 
position caused by eating too much honey, a diet which he ab- 

At the mere mention of honey the bear forgot all his fatigue, 
and when his host lamented the fact that he had nothing else to 
offer him, he joyfully declared no food could suit him better, and 
that he could never get enough of it. 

" ' If that is so,' continued the Red one, ' I really can serve you, 
For the peasant Riisteviel lives at the foot of the mountain. 
Honey he has, indeed, such that you and aU of your kindred 
Never so much together have seen.' " 

Oblivious of everything else at the thought of such a treat. 
Brown the bear immediately set out in Reynard's company, and 
they soon came to the peasant's yard, where a half-split tree 
trunk lay in full view. Reynard then bade his companion thrust 
his nose well down into the hollow and eat his fiU of honey. As 
soon as he saw that the bear had thrust not only his nose, but 
both fore paws, into the crack, Reynard cleverly removed the 
wedges, the tree clapped together, and he left the bear a prisoner 
and howling with pain. 

These sounds soon attracted the peasant's attention, and he 
and his companions all fell upon the captive bear with every 
imaginable weapon, and proceeded to give him a sound beating. 
Frantic with pain and terror, the unfortunate bear finally suc- 
ceeded in wrenching himself free, at the cost of the skin on his 
nose and fore paws, and, after tumbling the fat cook into the water 
swam down the stream and landed in a thicket to bewail his mis- 
fortunes. Here he was found by the fox, who added insult to 
injury by making fun of him, and reproved him for his gluttony, 
until the bear again plunged into the stream and swam away. 



Then, painfully making his way back to Nobel, Brown presented 
himself at court all bleeding and travel-stained, and poured forth 
a doleful account of his mission. 

The king, after consulting with his principal courtiers, declared 
it the right of any man to be thrice summoned, and, conceding 
that the bear's manners were not of a conciliatory Reynard and 
natiure, selected Hintze the cat to bear his message "'^ =**■ 
to Malepartus. The cat, disheartened by unfavorable omens, was 
nevertheless compelled to go on this unwelcome journey. 

Reynard welcomed him cordially, promised to accompany him 
to court on the morrow, and then asked what kind of refresh- 
ment he could offer. When Hintze had confessed his preference 
for mice, the fox replied that it was very fortunate, as there were 
plenty of them in the parson's barn. Hintze immediately asked , 
to be led thither, that he might eat his fill. 

" ' Pray do me the kindness 
Hence to lead and show me the mice, for far above wild game 
Give me a mouse for delicate flavor.' " 

Reynard then conducted Hintze to the parson's barn, and 
pointed out a httle opening through which he had passed to steal 
chickens, and where he knew that Martin, the parson's son, had 
laid a trap to catch any intruder. Hintze at first demurred, but, 
urged by Reynard, crept in and found himself caught in a noose. 
Reynard, pretending to take the cat's moans for cries of joy, ban- 
teringly inquired whether that was the way they sang at court, as 
the caterwauling grew louder. 

These sounds finally reached the ears of little Martin, who, ac- 
companied by his father, came into the barn to catch the intruder. 
Poor Hintze, frightened at the sight of the bludgeon the parson 
carried, flew at his legs, scratching and biting him, until the saintly 
man fainted. Then, taking advantage of the confusion, Hintze 
managed to slip out of the noose and effect his escape. He re- 
turned to court minus one eye, and there poured out the story of 
his wrongs. 


The wrath of the king was now terrible to behold, and assem- 
bling his council, he bade them decide how he should punish the 
Reynard and wretch who had twice ill treated his messengers. 

the badger. Grimbart the badger, seeing that public opinion 
was decidedly against his relative, now begged that a third sum- 
mons should be sent, and ofiEered to carry the message himself. 
He furthermore declared that, even according to their own show- 
ing, the cat and bear had come to grief through their greediness ; 
and then he promptly departed. 

Grimbart found Reynard in the bosom of his family, dehvered 
his message, and frankly advised the fox to obey the king's sum- 
mons and appear at court, where, perchance, he might yet man- 
age to save himself ; while if he remained at home the king would 
besiege his fortress and slay him and all his family. Reynard lis- 
tened favorably to this advice, and, after bidding his wife a tender 
farewell, and committing his beloved children to her care, he set 
out with Grimbart to go to court. 

On the way the recollection of his many transgressions began 
to lie very heavily upon his heart. The fear of death quickened 
his conscience, and, longing to make his peace with Heaven, he 
expressed a great wish to confess his sins and receive absolution. 
As no priest was near at hand, he begged Grimbart the badger 
to listen to him, and penitently confessed all the misdeeds we 
have already recounted. He also added that he once bound Ise- 
grim to the rope of the convent bell at Elkinar, where his frantic 
tugging rang the bell, until the monks, crowding around him, 
cudgeled him severely. Reynard related, too, how he once in- 
duced Isegrim to enter the priests' house through a window and 
crawl along some beams in search of ham and bacon. As the 
wolf was carefully feeling his way, however, the mischievous fox 
pushed him and made him fall on the sleeping people below, who, 
awakening with a start, fell upon him and beat him. These and 
sundry other sins having duly been confessed, the badger bade 
the fox chastise himself with a switch plucked from the hedge, 
lay it down in the road, jump over it thrice, and then meekly kiss 


that rod in token of obedience. Then he pronounced Reynard 
absolved from his former sins, and admonished him to lead an 
altered life in future. 

" ' My uncle, take care that your future amendment 
In good works be visible. Psalms you should read, and should visit 
Churches with diligence ; fast at the seasons duly appointed ; 
Him who asks you point out the way to ; give to the needy 
Willingly ; swear to forsake all evil habits of living, 
All kinds of theft and robbing, deceit and evil behavior. 
Thus can you make quite sure that you will attain unto mercy ! ' " 

The fox solemnly promised amendment, and with sanctimonious 
mien continued his journey. But as he and the badger passed a 
convent, and some plump hens crossed their path, Reynard forgot 
all his promises and began to chase the chickens. Sharply re- 
called to a sense of duty by Grimbart, Reynard reluctantly gave 
up the chase, and the two proceeded without further drawback 
to the court, where Reynard's arrival created a great sensation. 

" When at the Court it was known that Reineke really was coming, 
Ev'ry one thronged out of doors to see him, the great and the httle. 
Few with friendly intent ; for almost all were complaining. 
This, however, in Reineke's mind was of little importance; 
Thus he pretended, at least, as he with Grimbart the badger, 
Boldly enough and with elegant mien now walked up the high street. 
Jauntily swung he along at his ease, as if he were truly 
Son of the king, and free and quit of ev'ry transgression. 
Thus he came before Nobel the king, and stood in the palace 
In the midst of the lords; he knew how to pose as unruffled." 

With consummate skill and unparalleled eloquence and impu- 
dence, Reynard addressed the king, lauding himself as a faithful 
servant, and commiserating the fact that so many Reynard at 
envious and backbiting people were ready to accuse '=°"''*- 
him. Nobel the king, in whose mind the recollection of the treat- 
ment inflicted upon Brown the bear and Hintze the cat was still 
very vivid, answered him sternly, and told him that it would be 


difficult for him to acquit himself of those two charges, to say 
nothing of the many others brought against him. Reynard, still 
undismayed, demanded with well-feigned indignation whether he 
was to be held responsible for the sins of those messengers whose 
misfortunes were attributable to their gluttonous and thievish 
propensities only. 

But in spite of this specious pleading, all the other animals 
came crowding around with so many grievous charges that mat- 
Re nard con- ^^"^^ began to look very dark indeed for the fox. 

demned to In Spite of all Reynard's eloquence, and of the 
death. fluent excuses ever on his tongue, the council pro- 
nounced him guilty, and condemned him to die an ignominious 
death. Reynard's enemies rejoiced at this sentence, and dragged 
him off with cheerful alacrity to the gallows, where all the ani- 
mals assembled to witness his execution. 

On the way to the place of punishment Reynard tried to think 
of some plan by means of which he could save himself even at 
the eleventh hour ; and knowing that some scheme would occur 
to him if he could only gain a little time, he humbly implored 
permission to make a public confession of his manifold sins ere 
he paid the penalty of his crimes. Anxious to hear all he might 
have to say, the king granted him permission to speak ; and the 
fox began to relate at length the story of his early and innocent 
childhood, his meeting and alliance with Isegrim the wolf, and 
his gradual induction by him into crooked paths and evil ways. 
He told, too, how the cruel wolf, presuming on his strength, had 
ever made use of it to deprive him, the fox, of his rightful share 
of plunder ; and concluded by saying that he would often have 
suffered from hunger had it not been for the possession of a great 
treasure of gold, which had sufficed for all his wants. 

" ' Thanks be to God, however, I never suffered from hunger; 
Secretly have I fed well by means of that excellent treasure, 
All of silver and gold in a secret place that securely 
Hidden I keep; with this I've enough. And, I say it in earnest, 
Not a wagon could carry it off, though sevenfold loaded.' " 


At the word " treasure " Nobel pricked up his ears and bade 
Reynard relate how this hoard was obtained and where it was 
concealed. The artful fox, seeing the king's evident interest, 
rapidly prepared more hes, and, speaking to the king and queen, 
declared that ere he died it would be better for him to reveal the 
carefully guarded secret of a conspiracy which would have re- 
sulted in the king's death had it not been for his devotion. 

The queen, shuddering at the mere thought of the danger her 
royal consort had run, now begged that Reynard might step down 
from the scaffold and speak privately to her and to Nobel. In this 
interview Reynard, still pretending to prepare for immediate 
death, told how he discovered a conspiracy formed by his father, 
Isegrim the wolf. Brown the bear, and many others, to slay the 
king and seize the scepter. He described the various secret con- 
ferences, the measures taken, and his father's promise to defray all 
the expenses of the enterprise and to subsidize mercenary troops 
by means of the hoard of King Ermenrich, which he had discov- 
ered and concealed for his own use. 

Reynard then continued to describe his loyal fears for his be- 
loved sovereign, his resolve to outwit the conspirators, and his 
efforts to deprive them of the sinews of war by discovering and 
abstracting the treasure. Thanks to his ceaseless vigilance, he 
saw his father steal forth one night, uncover hiS hoard, gloat over . 
the gold, and then efface the traces of his search with the ut- 
most skill. 

" ' Nor could one, 

Not having seen, have possibly known. And ere he went onwards 
Well he understood at the place where his feet had been planted. 
Cleverly backwards and forwards to draw his tail, and to smooth it. 
And to efface the trace with the aid of his mouth.'" 

Reynard then told the king how diUgently he and his wife, Erme- 
lyn, labored to remove the gold and conceal it elsewhere, and how 
the conspiracy came to naught when no gold was found to pay 
the troops. He mournfully added that his loyalty further deprived 
him of a loving father, for the latter had hung himself in despair 


when he found his treasure gone and all his plans frustrated. With 
hypocritical tears he then bewailed his own fate, saying that, al- 
though ready to risk all for another, there was no one near him 
to speak a good word for him in his time of bitterest need. 

The queen's soft heart was so touched by this display of feel- 
ing that she soon pleaded for and obtained Reynard's pardon from 

Reynard Nobel, who freely granted it when the fox promised 

pardoned. (g gjye him his treasure. Most accurately now he 
described its place of concealment, but said that he could not 
remain at court, as his presence there was an insult to royalty, 
seeing that he was under the Pope's ban and must make a pilgrim- 
age ere it could be removed. 

The king, after imprisoning Isegrim, Brown, and Hintze (the 
chief conspirators according to Reynard's tale), and ascertaining 
that the place the fox so accurately described really existed, bade 
Reynard depart, and at his request procured for him a fragment 
of Brown's hide to make a wallet, and a pair of socks from Ise- 
grim and his wife, who were very loath to part with their foot 
covering. The king, queen, and court then accompanied Reynard 
a short way on the first stage of his journey, and turned back, 
leaving Bellyn the ram and Lampe the hare to escort him a 
little farther. These innocent companions accompanied Reynard 
to Malepartus, and while Bellyn waited patiently without, Lampe 
entered the house with Reynard. Lady Ermelyn and her two 
young sons greeted Reynard with joy, listened breathlessly to the 
account of his adventures, and then helped him to slay and eat 
Lampe, who, he declared, had brought all these evils upon him. 

Reynard and his family feasted upon the body of poor Lampe 
the hare, whose head was then securely fastened in the wallet 
made of Brown's skin. This the fox carefully carried out and 
placed upon Bellyn's back, assuring him volubly the while that 
it contained important dispatches, and that in order to insure him 
a suitable reward for his good offices he had told Nobel the king 
that the ram had given him valuable assistance in preparing the 
contents of the wallet. 


" ' Yet, as soon as you see the king, and to still better favor 
Wish to attain with him, 'twere well to bring to his notice 
That you have sagely given advice in composing the letters, 
Yea, and the writer have help'd. ' " 

Thus instructed, and reassured concerning the absence of 
Lampe, whom Reynard described as enjoying a chat with Ermelyn, 
Bellyn bounded off to court, where he did not fail to vaunt that 
he had helped Reynard prepare the contents of the wallet. Nobel 
pubhcly opened it, and when he drew out Lampe's bleeding head 
his anger knew no bounds. Following the advice of his courtiers, 
Bellyn, in spite of all his protestations, was given in atonement 
to the bear and the wolf, who the king now feared had been un- 
justly treated. They were then released from imprisonment and 
reinstated to royal favor, and twelve days of festivity ensued. 

In the midst of the dance and revelry a bloody rabbit appeared 
to accuse Reynard of tearing off one of his ears, while the garru- 
lous crow, Merkinau, related how the same unscru- Reynard again 
pulous wretch had pretended death merely to befool '" disgrace. 
Sharfenebbe, his wife, and induce her to come near enough for 
him to bite off her head. Nobel the king, upon hearing these 
complaints, immediately swore that within six days he would 
besiege Reynard in his castle, would take him prisoner, and would 
make him suffer the penalty of his crimes. 

Isegrim the wolf and Brown the bear rejoiced at these tid- 
ings, while Grimbart the badger, seeing the peril his uncle had 
incurred, hastened off secretly to Malepartus to warn him of his 
danger and support him by his advice. He found Reynard sit- 
ting complacently in front of his house, contemplating two young 
doves which he had just secured as they were making their first 
a,ttempt to fly. Grimbart breathlessly related the arrival of Bel- 
lyn, the royal indignation at the sight of Lampe's head, and the 
plan for siurounding and capturing Reynard in his safe retreat. 

In spite of this disquieting news Reynard's composure did not 
desert him ; but after vowing that he could easily acquit himself of 
these crimes if he could only win the king's ear for a moment, he 


invited his kinsman to share his meal and taste the delicate mor- 
sels he had secured. Grimbart the badger, seeing that the fox was 
Grimbarfs "ot inclined to flee, now advised him not to await 
advice. ^jje king's coming and expose his wife and children 
to the horrors of a siege, but boldly to return to court. 

" 'Go with assurance before the lords, and put the best face on 
Your affairs. They will give you a hearing. Lupardus was also 
Willing you should not be punish'd before you had fully 
Made your defense, and the queen herself was not otherwise minded. 
Mark this fact, and try to make use of it.' " 

Once more Reynard bade a tender farewell to his wife and sons, 
resisting all the former's entreaties to seek safety in flight, and, 
relying upon his cunning, set out with Grimbart to visit the court. 
On his way he again pretended repentance for his former sins, 
and resuming his confession at the point where he had broken 
off, he told how maliciously he had secured a piece of the bear's 
hide for a wallet, and socks from Isegrim and his wife. He then 
went on to relate just how he had murdered Lampe, charged the 
innocent Bellyn with the ambiguous message which had cost him 
his life, torn off one of the rabbit's ears, and eaten the crow's wife. 
Lastly, he confessed how he had gone out in company with the 
wolf, who, being hungry and seeing a mare with a little foal, had 
bidden Reynard inquire at what price she would sell it. The mare 
retorted that the price was written on her hoof. The sly fox, 
understanding her meaning, yet longing to get his companion 
into trouble, pretended not to know how to read, and sent the 
wolf to ascertain the price. The result was, of course, disastrous, 
for the mare kicked so hard that the wolf lay almost dead for 
several hours after. 

"So he went and asked the lady, ' What price is the filly? 
Make it cheap.' Whereupon she replied, ' You've only to read it; 
There you will find the sum inscribed on one of my hind feet.' 
'Let me look,' continued the wolf; and she answered, 'With 


" Then she lifted upwards her foot from the grass ; it was studded 
With six nails. She struck straight out, and not by a hair's 

Missed she her mark. She struck on his head, and straightway he 

fell down, 
Lying as dumb as the dead. " 

Waxing more and more eloquent as they drew nearer court and 
his fears increased, Reynard began to moralize. He excused him- 
self for Lampe's murder on the plea of the latter's aggravating 
behavior, said that the king himself was nothing but a robber living 
by raipine, and proceeded to show how even the priests were guilty 
of manifold sins, which he enumerated with much gusto. 

They had scarcely finished this edifying conversation when they 
came across Martin the ape, on his way to Rome ; and Reynard 
hastened to implore him to secure his release from the Pope's ban, 
through the intercession of the ape's uncle, the cardinal, whose 
interest it was to serve him. Martin the ape not only promised 
his good offices at the papal court, but bade Reynard not hesitate 
to consult his wife should he find himself in any predicament at 

Thus supported, Reynard again made his appearance at court, 
to the utter amazement and surprise of all ; and although he was 
well aware that his situation was more dangerous Reynard at 
than ever, his assurance did not seem at all impaired. court. 

Kneeling with pretended humility before the king, he artfully 
began his address by lamenting the fact that there were so many 
unscrupulous people ever ready to accuse the innocent ; and when 
the king angrily interrupted him to accuse him of maiming the 
rabbit and devovming the crow, he began his defense. 

First Reynard explained that since Martin the ape had under- 
taken to free him from his ban, his journey to Rome was of course 
unnecessary. Then he related how the rabbit, dining at his house, 
had insulted and quarreled with his children, from whose clutches 
he had had much trouble to save him. The crow's death was 
caused by a fish bone she had swallowed. Bellyn, the traitor, had 


slain Lampe himself, and evidently put his head in the wallet in- 
stead of some treasures which Reynard had intrusted to their care 
for the king and queen. 

The king, who had listened impatiently to all this discourse, 
angrily retired, refusing to believe a word, while Reynard sought 
The ape's inter- the ape's wife, Frau Riickenau, and bade her in- 
cession. tercede for him. She entered the royal tent, re- 
minded the king of her former services, and seeing his mood 
somewhat softened, ventured to mention how cleverly Reynard 
once helped him to judge between the rival claims of a shepherd 
and a serpent. The latter, caught in a noose and about to die, 
had implored a passing shepherd to set it free. The peasant had 
done so after exacting a solemn oath from the serpent to do him 
no harm. But the serpent, once released, and suffering from the 
pangs of hunger, threatened to devotu: the peasant. The latter 
called the raven, \^olf, and bear, whom he met by the way, to 
his aid; but as they all hoped to get a share of him, they all 
decided in favor of the serpent's claim to eat him. 

The case by this time had become so intricate that it was laid 
before the king, who, unable to judge wisely, called Reynard to 
his aid. The fox declared that he could only .settle so difficult a 
matter when plaintiff and defendant had assumed the relative posi- 
tions which they occupied at the time of dispute. Then when 
the snake was safely in the noose once more, Reynard decided 
that, knowing the serpent's treachery, the peasant might again set 
him loose, but need not do so unless he chose. 

" ' Here now is each of the parties 
Once again in his former state, nor has either the contest 
Won or lost. The right, I think, of itself is apparent. 
For if it pleases the man, he again can deliver the serpent 
Out of the noose ; if not, he may let her remain and be hang'd there. 
Free he may go on his way with honor and see to his business, 
Since she has proved herself false, when she had accepted his kindness ; 
Fairly the man has the choice. This seems to me to be justice, 
True to the spirit. Let him who understands better declare it.' " 



The king, remembering this celebrated judgment, and skillfully 
reminded by Frau Riickenau of the bear's and the wolf's rapacity, 
consented at last to give Reynard a second hearing. The fox now 
minutely described the treasures he sent to court, — a magic ring 
for the king, and a comb and mirror for the queen. Not only was 
the fable of the judgment of Paris engraved on the latter, but also 
that of the jealous donkey, who, imitating his master's lapdog, and 
trying to climb into his lap, received nothing but blows. There 
was also the story of the cat and the fox, of the wolf and the 
crane, and, lastly, the account of the miraculous way in which 
his father, a noted leech, had saved Nobel's sire by making him 
eat the flesh of a wolf just seven years old. 

The pleader then reminded the king of a noted hunting party, 
where Isegrim, having secured a boar, gave the king one quarter, 
• the queen another, reserved a half for himself, and gave the fox 
nothing but the head. This division was of course very disloyal, 
and the fox showed that he thought so by dividing a calf more 
equitably ; i.e., giving the queen one half, the king the other, the 
heart and liver to the princes, the head to the wolf, and reserving 
only the feet for himself. 

Reynard prided himself upon these tokens of loyalty, and then, 
seeing that he had made a favorable impression, he volunteered, in 
spite of his small size, to meet the wolf in battle and p^^, between 
leave the vindication of his claims to the judgment the fox and 
of God. This magnanimous behavior filled the king *''* '"° ' 
with admiration, and the trial was appointed for the following 
day, the intervening hours being granted to both combatants 
for preparation. Reynard, still advised by Frau Riickenau, was 
shaved smooth, rubbed with butter until he was as slippery as 
could be, and instructed to feign fear and run fleetly in front of 
the wolf, kicking up as much sand as possible, and using his brush 
to dash it into his opponent's eyes and thus bhnd him. 

The combat took place. The wolf, blinded by the sand in his 
eyes, was so infuriated that he finally pounced upon the fox, who, 
however, managed yet to get the upper hand and come off victor. 


generously granting life to his foe, whom he had nearly torn and 
scratched to pieces. Reynard, having thus won the victory, en- 
joyed the plaudits of the crowd, while the wolf, being vanquished, 
was pubHcly derided, and borne off by his few remaining friends 
to be nursed back to health, if possible. 

"Such is ever the way of the world. They say to the lucky, 
'Long may you live in good health,' and friends he finds in abun- 
When, however, ill fortune befalls him, alone he must bear it. 
Even so was it here ; each one of them wish'd to the victor 
Nearest to be, to show himself off." 

The king pronounced Reynard guiltless of all charges, and 
made him one of his privy councilors. But the fox, after thank- 
Reynard's ing the king for his favors, humbly besought per- 
acquittai. mission to return home, where his wife was await- 
ing him, and departed, escorted by a deputation of his friends. 

According to some versions of the tale, Reynard contented 
himself with blinding the wolf and maiming him for life ; accord- 
ing to others, he bided his time, and when the king was ill, told 
him that nothing could save him short of the heart of a wolf just 
seven years old. Of course no wolf of the exact age could be 
found but Isegrim, so he was sacrificed to save the king, who 
recovered. As for Reynard, he enjoyed great honor as long as 
he Hved, and his adventures have long been the deUght of the 
people, whom his tricks never failed to amuse. 

"Highly honor'd is Reineke now ! To wisdom let all men 
Quickly apply them, and flee what is evil, and reverence virtue ! 
This is the end and aim of the song, and in it the poet 
Fable and truth hath mixed, whereby the good from the evil 
Ye may discern, and wisdom esteem ; and thereby the buyers 
Of this book in the ways of the world may be daily instructed. 
For it was so created of old, and will ever remain so. 
Thus is our poem of Reineke's deeds and character ended. 
May God bring us all to eternal happiness. Amen ! " 



Germany's greatest epic is, without doubt, the ancient poem 
entitled " Nibelungenlied," or the " Lay," " Fall," or " Calamity 
of the Nibelungs." Although nothing certain is 

, -1 ,,,..,., Origin of poem. 

known concernmg the real authorship of this beau- 
tiful work, it is supposed to have been put into its present form 
either by the Austrian minstrel von Kurenberg or by the German 
poet von Ofterdingen, some time previous to the year 1210, the 
date inscribed on the oldest manuscript of that poem now extant. 

According to the best authorities on ancient German literature, 
the " NibelungenUed " is compiled from preexisting songs and 
rhapsodies, forming five distinct cycles of myths, but all referring 
in some way to the great treasure of the Nibelungs. One of these 
cycles is the northern Volsunga Saga,i where Sigurd, Gudnin, 
Gunnar, Hogni, and Atli, the principal characters, correspond to 
Siegfried, Kriemhild, Gunther, Hagen, and Etzel of the " Nibe- 
lungenlied." The story of the German poem, which can be given 
only in outline, is as follows : 

Dankrat and Ute, King and Queen of Burgundy, were the for- 
tunate parents of four children : three sons, Gunther, Gemot, and 
Giselher; and one beautiful daughter, Kriemhild. When the 
king died, his eldest son, Gunther, succeeded him, and reigned 
wisely and well, residing at Worms on the Rhine, his capital and 
favorite city. 

As was customary in those days, Kriemhild lived a peaceful 

1 See Guerber's Myths of Northern Lands, p. 225. 


and secluded life, rarely leaving her mother's palace and protec- 
tion. But one night her slumbers, which were usually very 
Kriemhiid's peaceful, were disturbed by a tormenting dream, 
dream. which, upon awaking, she hastened to confide to 
her mother, thinking that, as Ute was skilled in magic and dreams, 
she might give a favorable interpretation and thus rid her of her 
haunting fears. 

" A dream was dreamt by Kriemhild, the virtuous and the gay, 
How a wild young falcon she train'd for many a day, 
Till two fierce eagles tore it." 

Nibelungenlied (Lettsom's tr.). 

Ute declared that the falcon her daughter had seen in her 
dream must be some noble prince, whom she would love and 
marry; while the two eagles were base murderers, who wotdd 
eventually slay her beloved. Instead of reassuring Kriemhild, 
this interpretation only saddened her the more, and made her 
loudly protest that she would rather forego all the joys of mar- 
ried estate than have to mourn for a beloved husband. 

In those days there flourished farther down the Rhine the 
kingdom of the Netherlands, governed by Siegmund and Siege- 
Siegfried's lind. They were very proud of their only son and 
home. \it\x, young Siegfried, who had already reached 
man's estate. To celebrate his knighthood a great tournament 
was held at Xanten on the Rhine, and in the jousting the young 
prince won all the laurels, although great and tried warriors 
matched their skill against his in the lists. 

The festivities continued for seven whole days, and when the 
guests departed they were all heavily laden with the costly gifts 
which the king and queen had lavished upon them. 

"The gorgeous feast it lasted till the seventh day was o'er. 
Siegelind, the wealthy, did as they did of yore ; 
She won for valiant Siegfried the hearts of young and old, 
When for his sake among them she shower'd the ruddy gold. 


" You scarce could find one needy in all the minstrel band; 
Horses and robes were scatter'd with ever-open hand. 
They gave as though they had not another day to live ; 
None were to take so ready as they inclin'd to give." 

Nibelungenlied (Leltsom's tr.). 

After the departure of all these guests, young Siegfried sought 
his parents' presence, told them that he had heard rumors of the 
beauty and attractions of Kriemhild of Burgundy, and declared 
his wish to journey thither to secure her as his wife. 

In vain the fond parents tried to prevail upon him to remain 
quietly at home ; the young hero insisted so strongly that he 
finally won their consent to his immediate departure. With 
eleven companions, all decked out in the richest garments that 
the queen's chests could furnish, the young prince rode down the 
Rhine, and reached Worms on the seventh day. 

The arrival of the gallant little troop was soon noted by Gun- 
ther's subjects, who hastened out to meet the strangers and help 
them dismount. Siegfried immediately requested Siegfried's 
to be brought into the presence of their king, who, arrival in 
in the meanwhile, had inquired of his uncle, Hagen, Burgundy, 
the names and standing of the newcomers. Glancing down from 
the great hall window, Hagen said that the leader must be Sieg- 
fried, the knight who had slain the owners of the Nibelungen hoard 
and appropriated it for his own use, as well as the magic cloud- 
cloak, or Tarnkappe, which rendered its wearer invisible to mortal 
eyes.i He added that this same Siegfried was ruler of the Nibe- 
lungen land, and the slayer of a terrible dragon, whose blood had 
made him invulnerable, and he concluded by advising Gunther 
to receive him most courteously. 

"Yet more I know of Siegfried, that well your ear may hold : 
A poison-spitting dragon he slew with courage bold, 
And in the blood then bath'd him ; thus turn'd to horn his skin, 
And now no weapons harm him, as often proved has been. 

1 For various legends of this cycle see Guerber's Legends of the Rhine, 
article Xanten. 


" Receive then this young hero with all becoming state ; 
'Twere ill advis'd to merit so fierce a champion's hate. 
So lovely is his presence, at once all hearts are won, 
And then his strength and courage such wondrous deeds have done. " 

Nibelungenlied (Lettsom's tr.). 

In obedience to this advice, Gunther went to meet Siegfried 
and politely inquired the cause of his visit. Imagine his dismay, 
therefore, when Siegfried replied that he had come to test the 
Burgundian's vaunted strength, and to propose a single combat, 
in which the victor might claim the lands and allegiance of the 
vanquished. Gunther recoiled from such a proposal, and as none 
of his warriors seemed inclined to accept the challenge, he and 
his brother hastened to disarm Siegfried's haughty mood by their 
proffers of unbounded hospitality. 

Siegfried sojourned for nearly a year at Gunther's court, dis- 
playing his skill in all martial exercises ; and although he never 
caught a glimpse of the fair maiden Kriemhild, she often admired 
his strength and manly beauty from behind the palace lattice. 

One day the games were interrupted by the arrival of a herald 

announcing that Ludeger, King of the Saxons, and Ludegast, 

King of Denmark, were about to invade Burgundy. 

War with the ° ' a } 

Saxons and These tidings filled Gunther's heart with terror, for 
the enemy were very numerous and their valor was 
beyond all question. But when Hagen hinted that perhaps Sieg- 
fried would lend them a helping hand, the King of Burgundy 
seized the suggestion with joy. 

As soon as Siegfried was made aware of the threatened inva- 
sion he declared that if Gunther would only give him one thou- 
sand brave men he would repel the foe. This offer was too good 
to refuse ; so Gunther hastily assembled a chosen corps, in which 
were his brothers Gemot and Giselher, Hagen and his brother 
Dankwart, Ortwine, Sindolt, and Volker, — all men of remarkable 

" ' Sir king,' said noble Siegfried, ' here sit at home and play, 
While I and your vassals are fighting far away ; 


Here frolic with the ladies and many a merry mate, 
And trust to me for guarding your honor and estate.' " 

Nihelungenlied (Lettsom's tr.). 

This little force, only one thousand strong, then marched bravely 
out of Worms, passed through Hesse, and entered Saxony, where 
it encountered the enemy numbering no less than twenty thou- 
sand valiant fighting men. The battle was immediately begun ; 
and while all fought bravely, none did such wonders as Siegfried, 
who made both kings prisoners, routed their host, and returned 
triumphant to Worms, with much spoil and many captives. 

A messenger had preceded him thither to announce the suc- 
cess of the expedition, and he was secretly summoned and ques- 
tioned by Kriemhild, who, in her joy at hearing that Siegfried was 
unharmed and victorious, gave the messenger a large reward. 

" Then spake she midst her blushes, ' Well hast thou earn'd thy meed, 
Well hast thou told thy story, so take thee costliest weed, 
And straight I'll bid be brought thee ten marks of ruddy gold.' 
No wonder, to rich ladies glad news are gladly told." 

Nibelnng;eniied (L^ttsoTs^s tr.), 

Kriemhild then hastened to her window, from whence she wit- 
nessed her hero's triumphant entrance, and heard the people's 
acclamations of joy. The wounded were cared celebration 
for, the captive kings hospitably entertained and of Siegfried's 

- . .... 1 1 J i victory. 

duly released, and great festivities were held to 
celebrate the glorious victory. Among other entertainments the 
knights tilted in the tournaments, and, by Gernot's advice, Ute, 
Kriemhild, and all the court ladies were invited to view the prowess 
of the men at arms. It was thus that Siegfried first beheld 
Kriemhild, and as soon as he saw her he gladly acknowledged 
that she was fairer than he could ever have supposed. 

" As the moon arising outglitters every star 
That through the clouds so purely glimmers from afar, 
E'en so love-breathing Kriemhild dimm'd every beauty nigh. 
Well might at such a vision many a bold heart beat high." 

Nibelungenlied (Lettsom's tr.). 


Siegfried's happiness was complete, however, when he was ap- 
pointed the escort of this peerless maiden ; and on the way to and 
from the tournament and mass he made good use of his oppor- 
tunity to whisper pretty speeches to Kriemhild, who timidly ex- 
pressed her gratitude for the sei'vice he had rendered her brother, 
and begged that he would continue to befriend him. These 
words made Siegfried blush with pride, and then and there he 
registered a solemn vow to fulfill her request. 

" ' Ever,' said he, ' your brethren I'll serve as best I may, 
Nor once, while I have being, will head on pillow lay 
Till I have done to please them whate'er they bid me do ; 
And this, my Lady Kriemhild, is all for love of you.' " 

Nibelungenlzed {lj&i\sota!s tr.). 

The festivities being ended, Gunther bestowed many gifts on 
the departing guests ; but when Siegfried would also have departed 
he entreated him to remain at Worms. This the young hero was 
not at all loath to do, as he had fallen deeply in love with the 
fair Kriemhild, whom he was now privileged to see every day. 

The excitement consequent on the festivities had not entirely 

subsided in Worms when King Gunther declared his desire to 

win for his wife Brunhild, a princess of Issland, 

Brunhild. , , , , , , 

who had vowed to marry none but the man who 
could surpass her in casting a spear, in throwing a stone, and in 

" Then spake the lord of Rhineland : ' Straight will I hence to sea, 
And seek the fiery Brunhild, howe'er it go with me. 
For love of the stern maiden I'll frankly risk my life ; 
Ready am I to lose it, if I win her not to wife. ' " 

NibelungenUed (Lettsom's tr.). 

In vain Siegfried, who knew all about Brunhild, tried to dis- 
suade him; Gunther insisted upon departing, but proposed to 
Siegfried to accompany him, promising him as reward for his as- 
sistance Kriemhild's hand as soon as the princess of Issland was 
won. Such an offer was not to be refused, and Siegfried imme- 


diately accepted it, advising Gunther to take only Hagen and 
Dankwart as his attendants. 

After seeking the aid of Kriemhild for a supply of rich cloth- 
ing suitable for a prince going a-wooing, Gunther and the three 
knights embarked on a small vessel, whose sails The expedition 
soon filled, and which rapidly bore them down the *° issiand. 
Rhine and over the sea to Issland. When within sight of its 
shores, Siegfried bade his companions all carefully agree in rep- 
resenting him to the strangers as Gunther's vassal only. Their 
arrival was seen by some inquisitive damsels peering out of the 
windows of the castle, and reported to Brunhild, who immediately 
and joyfully concluded that Siegfried had come to seek her hand 
in marriage. But when she heard that he held another man's 
stirrup to enable him to mount, she angrily frowned, wondering 
why he came as a menial instead of as a king. When the stran- 
gers entered her hall she would have greeted Siegfried first had ' 
he not modestly drawn aside, declaring that the honor was due to 
his master, Gunther, King of Burgundy, who had come to Issland 
to woo her. 

Brunhild then haughtily bade her warriors make all the neces- 
sary preparations for the coming contest-; and Gunther, Hap;en, 
and Dankwart apprehensively watched the movements of four 
warriors staggering beneath the weight of Brunhild's ponderous 
shield. Then they saw three others equally overpowered by hef 
spear; and twelve sturdy servants could scarcely roll the stone 
she was wont to cast. 

Hagen and Dankwart, fearing for their master,— who was 
doomed to die in case of failure,— began to mutter that some 
treachery was afoot, and openly regretted that they had con- 
sented to lay aside their weapons upon entering the castle. 
These remarks, overheard by Brunhild, called forth her scorn, 
and she contemptuously bade her servants bring the strangers' 
arms, since they were afraid. 

" Well heard the noble maiden the warrior's words the while, 
And looking o'er her shoulder, said with a scornful smile, 


' As he thinks himself so mighty, I'll not deny a guest ; 
Take they their arms and armor, and do as seems them best. 

" ' Be they naked and defenseless, or sheath'd in armor sheen, 
To me it nothing matters,' said the haughty queen. 
' Fear'd yet I never mortal, and, spite of yon stern brow 
And all the strength of Gunther, I fear as little now.' " 

Nibelungenlied (Lettsom's tr.). 

While these preliminaries were being settled, Siegfried had gone 

down to the ship riding at anchor, and all unseen had donned 

Siegfried and his magic cloud-cloak and returned to the scene 

the Tarnkappe. gf (j^e coming contcst, wherc he now bade Gunther 

rely upon his aid. 

" ' I am Siegfried, thy trusty friend and true ; 
Be not in fear a moment for all the queen can do.' 

" Said he, ' Off with the buckler, and give it me to bear; 
Now what I shall advise thee, mark with thy closest care. 
Be it thine to make the gestures, and mine the work to do.' " 

Nibelungenlied (Lettsom's tr.). 

In obedience to these directions, Gunther merely made the 
motions, depending upon the invisible Siegfried to parry and 
make all the attacks. Brunhild first poised and flung her spear 
with such force that both heroes staggered and almost fell ; but 
before she could cry out victory, Siegfried had caught the spear, 
turned it butt end foremost, and flung it back with such violence 
that the princess fell and was obliged to acknowledge herself 

Nothing daunted, however, by this first defeat, she caught up 
the massive stone, flung it far from her, and leaping after it, 

Brunhild's alighted beside it. But even while she was inwardly 

defeat. congratulating herself, and confidently cherishing 

the belief that the stranger could not surpass her, Siegfried caught 

up the stone, flung it farther still, and grasping Gunther by his 

broad girdle, bounded through the air with him and landed far 



beyond it. Brunhild was outdone in all three feats, and, accord- 
ing to her own promise, belonged to the victor, Gunther, to whom 
she now bade her people show all due respect and homage. 

"Then all aloud fair Brunhild bespake her courtier band, 
Seeing in the ring at distance unharm'd her wooer stand : 
' Hither, my men and kinsmen, low to my better bow. 
I am no more your mistress; you're Gunther's liegemen now.'" 

Nihelungenlied (Lettsom's tr.). 

The warriors all hastened to do her bidding, and escorted their 
new lord to the castle, whither, under pretext of fitly celebrating 
her marriage, Brunhild summoned all her retainers from far and 
near. This rally roused the secret terror of Gunther, Hagen, and 
Dankwart, for they suspected some act of treachery on the part 
of the dark-browed queen. These fears were also, in a measure, 
shared by Siegfried ; so he stole away, promising to return before 
long with a force sufficient to overawe Brunhild and quell all at- 
tempt at foul play. 

Siegfried, having hastily embarked upon the little vessel, swiftly 
sailed away to the Nibelungen land, where he arrived in an in- 
credibly short space of time, presented himself at the gates of his 
castle, and forced an entrance by conquering theigiant porter, and 
Alberich, the dwarf guardian of his treasure. Then making him- 
self known to his followers, the Nibelungs, he chose one thousand 
of them to accompany him back to Issland to support the Bur- 
gundian king. 

The arrival of this unexpected force greatly surprised Brunhild. 
She questioned Gunther, and upon receiving the careless reply 
that they were only a few of his followers, who ^^„^^ ^ ^f 
had come to make merry at his wedding, she gave Gunther and 
up all hope of resistance. When the usual festivi- 
ties had taken place, and the wonted largesses had been distrib- 
uted, Gunther bade his bride prepare to follow him back to the 
Rhine with her personal female attendants, who numbered no less 
than one hundred and sixty-eight. 


Brunhild regretfully left her own country, escorted by the thou- 
sand Nibelung warriors ; and when they had journeyed nine days, 
Gunther bade Siegfried spur ahead and announce his safe return 
to his family and subjects. Offended by the tone of command 
Gunther had assumed, Siegfried at first proudly refused to obey ; 
but when the king begged it as a favor, and mentioned Kriem- 
hild's name, he immediately relented and set out. 

"Said he, 'Nay, gentle Siegfried, do but this journey take. 
Not for my sake only, but for my sister's sake ; 
You'll oblige fair Kriemhild in this as well as me.' 
When so implored was Siegfried, ready at once was he. 

" ' Whate'er you will, command me ; let naught be left unsaid; 
I will gladly do it for the lovely maid. 
How can I refuse her who my heart has won ? 
For her, whate'er your pleasure, tell it, and it is done.' " 

Nihelungenlied (Lettsom's tr.). 

Kriemhild received this messenger most graciously, and gave 
immediate orders for a magnificent reception of the new queen, 
going down to the river to meet and greet her in the most cordial 
and affectionate manner. 

A tournament and banquet ensued ; but as they were about to 
sit down to the latter, the impatient Siegfried ventured to remind 

Marria e of G^i^tl^cr of his promise, and claim the hand of 
Siegfried and Kriemhild. In spite of a low-spoken remonstrance 
"^■"^ ' ' on Brunhild's part, who said that he would surely 
never consent to give his only sister in marriage to a menial, Gunther 
sent for Kriemhild, who blushingly expressed her readiness to 
marry Siegfried if her brother wished. The marriage was imme- 
diately celebrated, and the two bridal couples sat side by side. 
But while Kriemhild's fair face was radiant with joy, Brunhild's 
dark brows were drawn close together in an unmistakable and 
ominous frown. 

The banquet over, the newly married couples retired ; but when 
Gunther, for the first time alone with his wife, would fain have 


embraced her, she seized him, and, in spite of his vigorous resist- 
ance, bound him fast with her long girdle, suspended him from a 
hail in the corner of her apartment, and, notwith- Gunther's 
standing his piteous entreaties, let him remain there humiliation, 
all night long, releasing him only a few moments before the at- 
tendants entered the nuptial chamber in the morning. Of course 
all seemed greatly surprised to see Gunther's lowering counte- 
nance, which contrasted oddly with Siegfried's radiant mien ; for 
the latter had won a loving wife, and, to show his appreciation of 
her, had given her as wedding gift the great Nibelungen hoard. 

In the course of the day Gunther managed to draw Siegfried 
aside, and secretly confided to him the shameful treatment he 
had received at his wife's hands. When Siegfried heard this he 
offered to don his cloud-cloak once more, enter the royal cham- 
ber unperceived, and force Brunhild to recognize her husband 
as her master, and never again make use of her strength against 

In pursuance of this promise Siegfried suddenly left Kriemhild's 
side at nightfall, stole unseen into the queen's room, and when 
she and Gunther had closed the door, he blew out „ . ., , 

' Brunhild 

the lights and wrestled with Brunhild until she subdued by 
begged for mercy, promising never to bind him 'egtne 
again; for as Siegfried had remained invisible throughout the 
struggle, she thought it was Gunther who had conquered her. 

" Said she, ' Right noble ruler, vouchsafe my life to spare; 
Whatever I've offended, my duty shall repair. 
I'll meet thy noble passion ; my love with thine shall vie. 
That thou canst tame a woman, none better knows than I.' " 

Nihelungenlied (Lettsom's tr.). 

Still unperceived, Siegfried now took her girdle and ring, and 
stole out of the apartment, leaving Gunther alone with his wife ; 
but, true to her promise, Brunhild ever after treated her husband 
with due respect, and having once for all been conquered, she 
entirely lost the fabulous strength which had been her proudest 


boast, and was no more powerful than any other member of her 

After fourteen days of rejoicing, Siegfried and Kriemhild (the 
latter escorted by her faithful steward Eckewart) journeyed off 
to Xanten on the Rhine, where Siegmund and Siegelind received 
them joyfully, and even abdicated in their favor. 

Ten years passed away very rapidly indeed. Siegfried be- 
came the father of a son, whom he named Gunther, in honor of 
his brother-in-law, who had called his heir Siegfried ; and when 
Siegelind had seen her little grandson she departed from this 
world. Siegfried, with Kriemhild, his father, and his son, then 
went to the Nibelungen land, where they tarried two years. 

In the mean while Brunhild, still imagining that Siegfried was 
only her husband's vassal, secretly wondered why he never came 
to court to do homage for his lands, and finally suggested to 
Gunther that it would be well to invite his sister and her husband 
to visit them at Worms. Gunther seized this suggestion gladly, 
and immediately sent one of his followers, Gary, to deliver the 
invitation, which Siegfried accepted for himself and his wife, and 
also for Siegmund, his father. 

As they were bidden for midsummer, and as the journey was 
very long, Kriemhild speedily began her preparations ; and when 
she left home she cheerfully intrusted her little son to the care 
of the stalwart Nibelung knights, httle suspecting that she would 
never see him again. 

On Kriemhild's arrival at Worms, Brunhild greeted her with 
as much pomp and ceremony as had been used for her own re- 
ception ; but in spite of the amity which seemed to exist between 
the two queens, Brunhild was secretly angry at what she deemed 
Kriemhild's unwarrantable arrogance. 

One day, when the two queens were sitting together, Brunhild, 
weary of hearing Kriemhild's constant praise of her husband, 
who she declared was without a peer in the world, cuttingly re- 
marked that since he was Gunther's vassal he must necessarily 
be his inferior. This remark called forth a retort from Kriemhild, 


and a dispute was soon raging, in the course of which Kriemhild 
vowed that she would publicly assert her rank by taking the pre- 
cedence of Brunhild in entering the church. The srunhud 
queens parted in hot anger, but both immediately and 

proceeded to attire themselves with the utmost mag- 
nificence, and, escorted by all their maids, met at the church 
door. Brunhild there bade Kriemhild stand aside and make 
way for her superior ; but this order so angered the Nibelungen 
queen that the dispute was resumed in public with increased 
vehemence and bitterness. 

In her indignation Kriemhild finally insulted Brunhild grossly 
by declaring that she was not a faithful wife ; and in proof of her as- 
sertion she produced the ring and girdle which Siegfried had won 
in his memorable encounter with her, and which he had impru- 
dently given to his wife, to whom he had also confided the secret 
of Brunhild's wooing. 

Brunhild indignantly summoned Gunther to defend her, and he, 
in anger, sent for Siegfried, who publicly swore that his wife had 
not told the truth, and that Gunther's queen had in no way for- 
feited her good name. Further to propitiate his host, Siegfried 
declared the quarrel to be disgraceful, and promised to teach his 
wife better manners for the future, advising Gunther to do the 
same with his consort. 

" ' Women must be instructed,' said Siegfried the good knight, 
' To leave off idle talking and rule their tongues aright. 
Keep thy fair wife in order. I'll do by mine the same. 
Such overweening folly puts me indeed to shame.' " 

Nihelungenlied (Lettsom's tr.). 

To carry out this good resolution he led Klriemhild home, 
where, sooth to say, he beat her black and blue,— an heroic meas- 
ure which Gunther did not dare to imitate. 

Brunhild, smarting from the public insult received, continued 
to weep aloud and complain, until Hagen, inquiring the cause of 
her extravagant grief, and receiving a highly colored version of 
the affair, declared that he would see that she was duly avenged. 



" He ask'd her what had happen'd — wherefore he saw her weep ; 
She told him all the story ; he vow'd to her full deep 
That reap should Kriemhild's husband as he had dar'd to sow, 
Or that himself thereafter content should never know." 

Nibelungenlted (Lettsom's tr.). 

To keep this promise, Hagen next tried to stir up the anger of 
Gunther, Gemot, and Ortwine, and to prevail upon them to mur- 
der Siegfried ; but Giselher reproved him for these base designs, 
and openly took Siegfried's part, declaring : 

" ' Sure 'tis but a trifle to stir an angry wife.' " 

Nibelungenlted (Lettsom's tr.). 

But although he succeeded in quelling the attempt for the time 
being, he was no match for the artful Hagen, who continually 
reminded Gunther of the insult his wife had received, setting it 
in the worst possible light, and finally so worked upon the king's 
feelings that he consented to a treacherous assault. 

Under pretext that his former enemy, Ludeger, was about to 

attack him again, Gunther asked Siegfried's assistance, and began 

Hagen's to prepare as if for war. When Kiiemhild heard 

treachery, (jja^j jjgj. beloved husband was about to rush into 
danger she was greatly troubled. Hagen artfully pretended to 
share her alarm, and so won her confidence that she revealed to 
him that Siegfried was invulnerable except in one spot, between 
his shoulders, where a lime leaf had rested and the dragon's 
blood had not touched him. 

" ' So now I'll tell the secret, dear friend, alone to thee 
(For thou, I doubt not, cousin, wilt keep thy faith with me), 
Where sword may pierce my darling, and death sit on the thrust. 
See, in thy truth and honor how full, how firm, my trust ! 

" ' As from the dragon's death-wounds gush'd out the crimson gore, 
With the smoking torrent the warrior wash'd him o'er, 
A leaf then 'twixt his shoulders fell from the linden bough. 
There only steel can harm him ; for that I tremble now.' " 

Nihelungenlied (Lettsom's tr.). 


Pretending a sympathy he was far from feeling, and disguising 
his miholy joy, Hagen bade Kriemhild sew a tiny cross On Sieg- 
fried's doublet over the vulnerable spot, that he might the better 
protect him in case of danger, and, after receiving her profuse 
thanks, returned to report the success of his ruse to the king. 
When Siegfried joined them on the morrow, wearing the fatal 
marked doublet, he was surprised to hear that the rebelHon had 
been quelled without a blow ; and when invited to join in a hunt 
in the Odenwald instead of the fray, he gladly signified his con- 
sent. After bidding farewell to Kriemhild, whose heart was sorely 
oppressed by dark forebodings, he joined the hunting party. He 
scoured the forest, slew several boars, caught a bear ahve, and 
playfully let him loose in camp to furnish sport for the guests 
while the noonday meal was being prepared. Then he gaily sat 
down, glamoring for a drink. His exertions had made him very 
thirsty indeed, and he was sorely disappointed when told that, 
owing to a mistake, the wine had been carried to another part 
of the forest. But when Hagen pointed out a fresh spring at a 
short distance, all his wonted good humor returned, and he mer- 
rily proposed a race thither, offering to run in full armor, while 
the others might lay aside their cumbersome weapons. This chal- 
lenge was accepted by Hagen and Gunther. Although heavily 
handicapped, Siegfried reached the spring first; but, wishing to 
show courtesy to his host, he bade him drink while he disarmed. 
When Gunther's thirst was quenched, Siegfried took his turn, and 
while he bent over the water Hagen treacherously removed all 
his weapons except his shield, and gliding behind him, drove his 
spear through his body in the exact spot where Kriemhild had 
embroidered the fatal mark. 

Mortally wounded, Siegfried made a desperate effort to avenge 
himself ; but finding nothing but his shield within reach, he flung 
it with such force at his murderer that it knocked Death of 
him down. This last effort exhausted the remain- Siegfried, 
der of his strength, and the hero fell back upon the grass, cursing 
the treachery of those whom he had trusted as friends. 


" Thus spake the deadly wounded : ' Ay, cowards false as hell ! 
To you I still was faithful ; I serv'd you long and well ; — 
But what boots all ? — for guerdon treason and death I've won. 
By your friends, vile traitors ! foully have you done. 

" ' Whoever shall hereafter from your loins be born. 
Shall take from such vile fathers a heritage of scorn. 
On me you have wreak'd malice where gratitude was due ; 
With shame shall you be banish'd by all good knights and true.' " 

Nihelungenlied (Lettsom's tr.). 

But even in death Siegfried could not forget his beloved wife ; 
and laying aside all his anger, he pathetically recommended her 
to Gunther's care, bidding him guard her well. Siegfried expired 
as soon as these words were uttered ; and the hunters silently 
gathered around his corpse, regretfully contemplating the fallen 
hero, while they took counsel together how they might keep the 
secret of Hagen's treachery. They finally agreed to carry the 
body back to Worms and to say that they had found Siegfried dead 
in the forest, where he had presumably been slain by highwaymen. 

"Then many said, repenting, 'This deed will prove our bale ; 
Still let us shroud the secret, and all keep in one tale, — 
That the good lord of Kriemhild to hunt alone preferr'd, 
And so was slain by robbers as through the wood he spurr'd.' " 

Nihehmgenlied (Lettsom's tr.). 

But although his companions were anxious to shield him, Hagen 
gloried in his dastardly deed, and secretly bade the bearers de- 
posit Siegfried's corpse at Kriemhild's door after nightfall, so that 
she should be the first to see it there when on her way to early 
mass. As he fully expected, Kriemhild immediately recognized 
her husband, and fell senseless upon him ; but when she had re- 
covered consciousness she declared, while loudly bewailing her 
loss, that Siegfried was the victim of an assassination. 

" ' Woe's me, woe's' me forever ! sure no fair foeman's sword 
Shiver'd thy failing buckler ; 'twas murder stopp'd thy breath. 
Oh that I knew who did it ! death I'd requite with death ! ' " 

Nibdnngenlied (Lettsom's tr.). 


By her orders a messenger was sent to break the mournful tid- 
ings to the still sleeping Siegmund and the Nibelungs. They 
hastily armed and rallied about her, and would have fallen upon 
the Burgundians, to avenge their master's death, had she not re- 
strained them, bidding them await a suitable occasion, and prom- 
ising them her support when the right time came. 

The preparations for a sumptuous funeral were immediately 
begun, and all lent a willing hand, for Siegfried was greatly be- 
loved at Worms. His body was therefore laid in „ . , 

■' Detection of 

State in the cathedral, where all came to view it and Siegfried's 
condole with Kriemhild ; but when Gunther drew """^ 
near to express his sorrow, she refused to listen to him until he 
promised that all those present at the hunt should touch the 
body, which at the murderer's contact would bleed afresh. ' All 
stood the test and were honorably acquitted save Hagen, at 
whose touch Siegfried's blood began to flow. 

" It is a mighty marvel, which oft e'en now we spy, 
That when the blood-stain'd murderer comes to the murder'd nigh, 
The wounds break out a-bleeding; then too the same befell, 
And thus could each beholder the guilt of Hagen tell." 

NibeluKgenlied (Lettsom's tr.). 

Once more Kxiemhild restrained the angry Nibelung war- 
riors from taking immediate revenge, and, upheld by Gemot and 
Giselher, who really sympathized with her grief, she went through 
the remainder of the funeral ceremonies and saw her hero duly 
laid at rest. 

Kriemhild's mourning had only begun. All her days and nights 
were now spent in bitter weeping. This sorrow was fully shared 
by Siegmund, who, however, finally roused himself and proposed 
a return home. Kriemhild was about to accompany him, when 
her relatives persuaded her to remain in Burgundy. Then the 
little band which had come in festal array rode silently away in 
mourning robes, the grim Nibelung knights muttering dark threats 
against those who had dealt so basely with their beloved master. 


" ' Into this same country we well may come again 
To seek and find the traitor who laid our master low. 
Among the kin of Siegfried they have many a mortal foe.' " 

Nibelungenlied (Lettsom's tr.). 

Eckewart the steward alone remained with Kriemhild, with a 
faithfulness which has become proverbial in the German language, 
The Nibeiungen and prepared for his mistress a dwelling close by- 
hoard, the cathedral, so that she might constantly visit 
her husband's tomb. Here Kriemhild spent three years in com- 
plete seclusion, refusing to see Gunther, or the detested Hagen ; 
but they, remembering that the immense Nibeiungen hoard was 
hers by right, continually wondered how she could be induced 
to send for it. Owing to Hagen's advice, Gunther, helped by 
his brothers, finally obtained an interview with, and was recon- 
ciled to, his mourning sister, and shortly after persuaded her to 
send twelve men to claim from Alberich, the dwarf, the fabulous 
wealth her husband had bestowed upon her as a wedding gift. 

" It was made up of nothing but precious stones and gold ; 
Were all the world bought from it, and down the value told, 
Not a mark the less thereafter were left than erst was scor'd. 
Good reason sure had Hagen to covet such a hoard. 

" And thereamong was lying the wishing rod of gold, 
Which whoso could discover, might in subjection hold 
All this wide world as master, with all that dwelt therein. 
There came to Worms with Gemot full many of Albric's kin." 

Nibelungenlud (Lettsom's tr.). 

But although this wealth is said to have filled nearly one hun- 
dred and fifty wagons, Kriemhild would gladly have given it all 
away could she but have seen her husband by her side once more. 
Not knowing what else to do with it, she gave away her gold 
right and left, bidding all the recipients of her bounty pray for 
Siegfried's soul. Her largesses were so extensive that Hagen, 
who alone did not profit by her generosity, and who feared the 

',0„,. ,, 71 ; 



treasure might be exhausted before he could obtain a share, 
sought out Gunther and told him that Kriemhild was secretly 
winning to her side many adherents, whom she would some day 
urge to avenge her husband's murder by slaying her kindred. 

While Gunther was trying to devise some plan to obtain pos- 
session of the hoard, Hagen boldly seized the keys of the tower 
where it was kept, secretly removed all the gold, and, to prevent 
its faUing into any hands but his own, sank it in the Rhine near 

" Ere back the king came thither, impatient of delay, 
Hagen seized the treasure, and bore it thence away. 
Into the Rhine at Lochheim the whole at once threw he ! 
Henceforth he thought t' enjoy it, but that was ne'er to be. 

" He nevermore could get it for all his vain desire; 
So fortune oft the traitor cheats of his treason's hire. 
Alone he hop'd to use it as long as he should live. 
But neither himself could profit, nor to another give.'' 

Nibelungenlied (Lettsom's tr.). 

When Gunther, Gemot, and Gifeelher heard what Hagen had 
done, they were so angry that he deemed it advisable to with- 
draw from court for a while. Kriemhild would fain have left 
Biu-gundy forever at this fresh wrong, but with much difficulty 
was prevailed upon to remain and take up her abode at Lorch, 
whither Siegfried's remains were removed by her order. 

Thirteen years had passed by since Siegfried's death in the 
Odenwald when Etzel, King of Hungary, who had lost his beau- 
tiful and beloved wife, Helche, bade one of his King of Hun- 
knights, Riidiger of Bechlaren, ride to Worms and gary a suitor 
sue for the hand of Kriemhild in his master's name. °^ '''^™ ' ' 

Riidiger immediately gathered together a suitable train and 
departed, stopping on the way to visit his wife and daughter at 
Bechlaren. Passing all through Bavaria, he arrived at last at 
Worms, where he was warmly welcomed, by Hagen especially, 
who had formerly known him well. 


In reply to Gunther's courteous inquiry concerning the welfare 
of the King and Queen of the Huns, Rudiger announced the death 
of the latter, and declared that he had come to sue for Kriem- 
hild's hand. 

"Thereon the highborn envoy his message freely told: 
' King, since you have permitted, I'll to your ears unfold 
Wherefore my royal master me to your court has sent, 
Plung'd as he is in sorrow and doleful dreariment. 

" ' It has been told my master. Sir Siegfried now is dead, 
And Kriemhild left a widow. If thus they both have sped, 
Would you but permit her, she the crown shall wear 
Before the knights of Etzel ; this bids me my good lord declare.' " 

NibelungenUed (Lettsom's tr.). 

Gunther gladly received this message, promised to do all in his 
power to win Kriemhild's consent, and said that he would give 
the envoy a definite answer in three days' time. He then con- 
sulted his brothers and nobles as to the advisabihty of the pro- 
posed alliance, and found that all were greatly in favor of it save 
Hagen, who warned them that if Kriemhild were ever Queen of 
the Huns she would use her power to avenge her wrongs. 

This warning was, however, not heeded by the royal brothers, 
who, seeking Kriemhild's presence, vainly tried to make her accept 

Rudiger's the Hun's proposal. All she would grant was an 

promise. audience to Rudiger, who laid before her his mas- 
ter's proposal, described the power of the Huns, and swore to 
obey her in all things would she but consent to become his queen. 

" In vain they her entreated, in vain to her they pray'd. 
Till to the queen the margrave this secret promise made, — 
He'd ' full amends procure her for past or future ill.' 
Those words her storm-tost bosom had power in part to still." 

NibelungenUed (Lettsom's tr.). 

After receiving this promise, Kriemhild signified her consent, 
and immediately prepared to accompany Riidiger to King 
Etzel's court. Eckewart and all her maidens accompanied her, 


with five hundred men as a bodyguard ; and Gemot and Gisel- 
her, with many Burgundian nobles, escorted her to Vergen on 
the Danube, where they took an affectionate leave The journey 
of her, and went back to their home in Burgundy. *° Hungary. 

From Vergen, Kriemhild and her escort journeyed on to Passau, 
where they were warmly welcomed and hospitably entertained by 
good Bishop Pilgrim, brother of Queen Ute. He would gladly 
have detained them, had not Riidiger declared that his master 
impatiently awaited the coming of his bride, which had duly been 
announced to him. 

A second pause was made at Bechlaren, Rudiger's castle, where 
Kriemhild was entertained by his wife and daughter, GoteUnde 
and Dietelinde, and where the usual lavish distribution of gifts 
took place. Then the. procession swept on again across the 
country and down the Danube, until they met King Etzel, whom 
Kriemhild graciously kissed, and who obtained a similar favor for 
his brother and a few of his principal nobles. 

After witnessing some tilting and other martial games, the 
king and, queen proceeded to Vienna, where a triumphal recep- 
tion awaited them, and where their marriage was The marriage 
celebrated with all becoming solemnity and great ^* Vienna, 
pomp. The wedding festivities lasted seventeen days ; but al- 
though all vied in their attempts to please Kriemhild, she remained 
sad and pensive, for she could not forget her beloved Siegfried 
and the happy years she had spent with him. 

The royal couple next journeyed on to Gran, Etzel's capital, 
where Kriemhild found innumerable handmaidens ready to do 
her will, and where Etzel was very happy with his new consort. 
His joy was complete, however, only when she bore him a son, 
who was baptized in the Christian faith, and called Ortlieb. 

Although thirteen years had now elapsed since Kriemhild had 
left her native land, the recollection of her wrongs was as vivid 
as ever, her melancholy just as profound, and her thoughts were 
ever busy planning how best to lure Hagen into her kingdom so 
as to work her revenge. 


" One long and dreary yearning she foster'd hour by hour; 
She thought, ' I am so wealthy and hold such boundless power. 
That I with ease a mischief can bring on all my foes, 
But most on him of Trony, the deadliest far of those. 

" ' Full oft for its beloved my heart is mourning still ; 
Them could I but meet with, who wrought me so much iU, 
Revenge should strike at murder, and life atone for life ; 
Wait can I no longer.' So murmur'd Etzel's wife." 

Nibelungenlied (Lettsom's tr.). 

Kriemhild finally decided to persuade Etzel to invite all her 
kinsmen for a midsummer visit, w^hich the king, not dreaming of 

Kriemhiid's her evil purpose, immediately hastened to do. Tviro 
p'°'- minstrels, Werbel and Swemmel, were sent with the 

most cordial invitation. Before they departed Kriemluld in- 
structed them to be sure and tell all her kinsmen that she was 
blithe and happy, and not melancholy as of yore, and to use every 
effort to bring not only the kings, but also Hagen, who, having 
been at Etzel's court as hostage in his youth, could best act as 
their guide. 

The minstrels were warmly received at Worms, where their invi- 
tation created great excitement. All were in favor of accepting 
it except Hagen, who objected that Kriemhild had cause for 
anger and would surely seek revenge when they were entirely in 
her power. 

" ' Trust not, Sir King,' said Hagen, 'how smooth soe'er they be. 
These messengers from Hungary ; if Kriemhild you will see, 
You put upon the venture your honor and your Ufe. 
A nurse of ling'ring vengeance is Etzel's moody wife.' " 

Nibelungenlied (Lettsom's tr.). 

But all his objections were set aside with the remark that he 
alone had a guilty conscience ; and the kings bade the minstrels 
return to announce their coming, although Ute also tried to keep 
them at home. Hagen, who was no coward, seeing them deter- 
mined to go, grimly prepared to accompany them, and prevailed 
upon them to don their strongest armor for the journey. 


Gunther was accompanied by both his brothers, by Hagen, 
Dankwart, Volker (his minstrel), Gary, and Ortwine, and by one 
thousand picked men as escort. Before leaving he intrusted his 
wife, Brunhild, and his son to the care of Rumolt, his squire, and 
bidding farewell to his people, set out for Hungary, whence he 
was never to return. 

In the mean while the Hungarian minstrels had hastened back 
to Gran to announce the guests' coming, and, upon being closely 
questioned by Kriemhild, described Hagen's grim behavior, and 
repeated his half-muttered prophecy: "This jaunt's a jaunt to 

The Burgundians, who in this part of the poem are frequently 
called Nibelungs (because they now held the great hoard), reached 
the Danube on the twelfth day. As they found neither ford nor 
ferry, Hagen, after again prophesying all manner of evil, volun- 
teered to go in search of a boat or raft to cross the rapid stream. 

He had not gone very far before he heard the sound of voices, 
and, peeping through the bushes, saw some swan maidens, or " wise 
women," bathing in a neighboring fountain. Steal- Prophecy of the 
ing up unperceived, he secured their plumage, swan maidens, 
which he consented to restore only after they had predicted the 
result of his journey. To obtain her garments, one of the women, 
Hadburg, prophesied great good fortune ; but when the pilfered 
robes were restored, another, called Siegelind, foretold much woe. 

" ' I will warn thee, Hagen, thou son of Aldrian ; 
My aunt has lied unto thee her raiment back to get ; 
If once thou com'st to Hungary, thou'rt taken in the net. 

" ' Turn while there's time for safety, turn, warriors most and least; 
For this, and for this only, you're bidden to the feast, 
That you perforce may perish in Etzel's bloody land. 
Whoever rideth thither, Death has he close at hand.' " 

Nibelungenlied (Lettsom's tr.). 

After adding that the chaplain alone would return alive to 
Worms, she told Hagen that he would find a ferryman on the 

^G legejvds of the middle ages. 

opposite side of the river, farther down, but that he would not 
obey his call unless he declared his name to be Amelrich. 

Hagen, after leaving the wise women, soon saw the ferryman's 
boat anchored to the opposite shore, and failing to make him 
come over for a promised reward, he cried out that his name was 
Amelrich. The ferryman immediately crossed, but when Hagen 
sprang into his boat he detected the fraud and began to fight. 
Although gigantic in size, this ferryman was no match for Hagen, 
who, after slaying him, took possession of the boat and skillfully 
ferried his masters and companions across the river. 

In hope of giving the lie to the swan maidens, Hagen paused 
once in the middle of the stream to fling the chaplain overboard, 
thinking he would surely drown ; but to his surprise and dismay 
the man struggled back to the shore, where he stood alone and 
unharmed, and whence he slowly wended his way back to Bur- 
gundy. Hagen now knew that the swan maidens' prophecy was 
destined to be fulfilled. Nevertheless he landed on the opposite 
shore, where he bade the main part of the troop ride on ahead, 
leaving him and Dankwart to bring up the rear, for he fully 
expected that Gelfrat, master of the murdered ferryman, would 
pursue them to avenge the latter's death. These previsions were 
soon verified, and in the bloody encounter which ensued, Hagen 
came off victor, with the loss of but four men, while the enemy 
left more than one hundred dead upon the field. 

Hagen joined the main body of the army once more, passed 
on with it to Passau, where Bishop Pilgrim was as glad to see his 

The first nephews as he had been to welcome his niece, and 

warning. from thence went on to the frontiers of Bechlaren. 
There they found Eckewart, who had been sent by Riidiger to 
warn them not to advance any farther, as he suspected that some 
treachery was afoot. 

" Sir Eckewart replied : 
' Yet much, I own, it grieves me that to the Huns you ride. 
You took the life of Siegfried ; all hate you deadly here ; 
As your true friend I warn you ; watch well, and wisely fear.' " 

Nibelungenlied (Lettsom's tr.). 


As the Burgundians would have deemed themselves forever 
disgraced were they to withdraw from their purpose, they refused 
to listen to this warning, and, entering Riidiger's castle, were 
warmly received by him and his family. Giselher, seeing the 
beauty of the maiden Dietelinde, fell deeply in love with her, 
and prevailed upon the margrave to consent to their immediate 
marriage, promising, however, to claim and bear away his bride 
only upon his homeward journey. Once more gifts were lavished 
with mediasval profusion, Gunther receiving a coat of mail, Ger- 
not a sword, Hagen a shield, and the minstrel Volker many. rings 
of red gold. 

Riidiger then escorted the Burgundians until they met the 
brave Dietrich von Bern (Verona), who also warned xhe second 
them that their visit was fraught with danger, for warning. 
Kriemhild had by no means forgotten the murder of the husband 
of her youth. 

His evil prognostications were also of no avail, and he sadly 
accompanied them until they met Kriemhild, who embraced 
Giselher only. Then, turning suddenly upon Hagen, she inquired 
aloud, in the presence of all the people, whether he had brought 
her back her own, the Nibelung hoard. Nothing daunted by this 
sudden query, Hagen haughtily answered that the treasure still 
lay deep in the Rhine, where he fancied it would rest until the 
judgment day. 

" ' r faith, my Lady Kriemhild, 'tis now full many a day 
Since in my power the treasure of the Nibelungers lay. 
In the Rhine my lords bade sink it ; I did their bidding fain, 
And in the Rhine, I warrant, till doomsday 'twill remain.'" 

Nihelungenlied (Lettsom's tr.). 

The queen turned her back contemptuously upon him, and in- 
vited her other guests to lay aside their weapons, for none might 
enter the great hall armed. This Hagen refused to allow them 
to do, saying that he feared treachery ; and the queen, pretending 
great grief, inquired who could have filled her kinsmen's hearts 


with such unjust suspicions. Sir Dietrich then boldly stepped 
forward, defied Kriemhild, and declared that it was he who had 
bidden the Burgundians be thus on their guard. 

" ' 'Twas I that the warning to the noble princes gave, 
And to their liegeman Hagen, to whom such hate thou bear'st. 
Now up, she-fiend ! be doing, and harm me if thou dar'st ! '" 

Nibelungenlied (Lettsom's tr.). 

Although the thirst for revenge now made her a " she-fiend," 

as he termed her, Kriemhild did not dare openly to attack Die- 

Aiiiance be- t"ch, whom all men justly feared ; and she quickly 

tween Hagen concealed her anger, while Etzel advanced in his 

and voiker. ^^^ ^^ welcome his guests, and especially singled 
out Hagen, his friend's son. While many of the Burgundians 
accompanied the king into the hall, Hagen drew Voiker aside, 
and, sitting down on a stone seat near Kriemhild's door, entered 
into a life-and-death alliance with him. Kriemhild, looking out 
of her window, saw him there and bade her followers go out and 
slay him ; but although they numbered four hundred, they hung 
back, until the queen, thinking that they doubted her assertions, 
volunteered to descend alone and wring from Hagen a confession 
of his crimes, while they lingered within earshot inside the build- 
ing. Voiker, seeing the queen approach, proposed to Hagen to 
rise and show her the customary respect ; but the latter, declaring 
that she would ascribe this token of decorum to fear alone, grimly 
bade him remain seated, and, when she addressed him, boldly 
acknowledged that he alone had slain Siegfried. 

" Said he, ' Why question further? that were a waste of breath. 
In a word, I am e'en Hagen, who Siegfried did to death. 

' ' What I have done, proud princess, I never will deny. 
The cause of all the mischief, the wrong, the loss, am I. 
So now, or man or woman, revenge it whoso will ; 
I scorn to speak a falsehood, — I've done you grievous ill.' " 

Nibelungenlied (Lettsom's tr.). 


But although the warriors had heard every word he said, and 
the queen again urged them on to attack her foe, they one and 
all withdrew after meeting one of Hagen's threatening glances. 
This episode, however, was enough to show the Burgundians very 
plainly what they could expect, and Hagen and Volker soon 
joined their companions, keeping ever side by side, according to 
their agreement. 

"Howe'er the rest were coupled, as mov'd to court the train, 
Folker and Hagen parted ne'er again, 
Save in one mortal struggle, e'en to their dying hour." 

NibelungenUed (Lettsom's tr.). 

After banqueting with Etzel the guests were led to their ap- 
pointed quarters, far remote from those of their squires; and 
when the Huns began to crowd them, Hagen again frightened 
them off with one of his black looks. When the hall where they 
were to sleep was finally reached, the knights all lay down to 
rest except Hagen and Volker, who mounted guard, the latter 
beguiling the hours by playing on his fiddle. 

Once, in the middle of the night, these self-appointed sentinels 
saw an armed troop draw near ; but when they loudly challenged 
the foremost men, they beat a hasty retreat. At dawn of day 
the knights arose to go to mass, wearing their arms by Hagen's 
advice, keeping well together, and presenting such a threatening 
aspect that Kriemhild's men dared not attack them. 

In spite of all these signs, Etzel remained entirely ignorant of 
his wife's evil designs, and continued to treat the Burgundians 
like friends and kinsmen. 

" How deep soe'er and deadly the hate she bore her kin. 
Still, had the truth by any disclos'd to Etzel been. 
He had at once prevented what afterwards befell. 
Through proud contemptuous courage they scorn'd their wrongs 
to teU." 

Nihelungenlied (Lettsom's tr.). 

After mass a tournament was held, Dietrich and Riidiger virtu- 
ously abstaining from taking part in it, lest some mishap should 


occur through their bravery, and fan into flames the smoldering 

fire of discord. In spite of all these precautions, however, the 

Beginning of threatened disruption nearly occurred when Volker 

hostilities. accidentally slew a Hun ; and it was avoided only 
by King Etzel's prompt interference. 

Kriemhild, hearing of this accident, vainly tried to use it as an 
excuse to bribe Dietrich, or his man Hildebrand, to slay her foe. 
She finally won over BlodeKn, the king's brother, by promising him 
a fair bride. To earn this reward the prince went with an armed 
host to the hall where all the Burgundian squires were feasting 
under Dankwart's care, and there treacherously slew them all, 
Dankwart alone escaping to the king's hall to join his brother 

In the mean while Etzel was entertaining his mailed guests, 
and had sent for his little son, whom he placed in Gunther's lap, 
telling him that he would soon send the boy to Burgundy to be 
educated among his mother's kin. 

All admired the graceful child except Hagen, who gruffly re- 
marked that the child appeared more likely to die early than to 
live to grow up. He had just finished this rude speech, which 
filled Etzel's heart with dismay, when Dankwart burst into the 
room, exclaiming that all his companions had been slain, and 
calling to Hagen for aid. 

" 'Be stirring, brother Hagen ; you're sitting all too long. 
To you and God in heaven our deadly strait I plain : 
Yeomen and knights together lie in their quarters slain.' " 

Nibelungenlied {X^Vtssyai^ dr.). 

The moment Hagen heard these tidings he sprang to his feet, 
drew his sword, and bade Dankwart guard the door and pre- 

vent the ingress or egress of a single Hungarian. 

Then he struck off the head of the child Ortlieb, 
which bounded into Kriemhild's lap, cut off the minstrel Werbel's 
hand, and began hewing right and left among the Hungarians, 
aided by all his companions, who manfully followed his example. 


Dismayed at this sudden turn of affairs, the aged King Etzel 
" sat in mortal anguish," helplessly watching the massacre, while 
Kriemhild shrieked aloud to Dietrich to protect her from her foes. 
Moved to pity by her evident terror, Dietrich blew a resounding 
blast on his horn, and Gunther paused in his work of destruction 
to inquire how he might serve the man who had ever shown him- 
self a friend. Dietrich answered by asking for a safe-conduct 
out of the hall for himself and his followers, which was immedi- 
ately granted. 

" 'Let me with your safe-conduct this hall of Etzel's leave, 
And quit this bloody banquet with those who follow me ; 
And for this grace forever I'll at your service be.' " 

Nibelungenlied (Lettsom's tr.). 

Dietrich von Bern then passed out of the hall unmolested, lead- 
ing the king by one hand and the queen by the other, and closely 
followed by all his retainers. This same privilege 

J T>"i' t t • ^ 1 11 "^^^ massacre. 

was granted to Rudiger and his five hundred men ; 
but when these had all passed out, the Burgundians renewed the 
bloody fight, nor paused until all the Huns in the hall were slain, 
and everything was reeking with blood. 

Then the Burgundians gathered up the corpses, which they flung 
down the staircase, at the foot of which Etzel stood, helplessly 
wringing his hands, and vainly trying to discover some means of 
stopping the fight. 

Kriemhild, in the mean while, was actively employed in gath- 
ering men, promising large rewards to any one who would attack 
and slay Hagen. Urged on by her, Iring attempted to force an 
entrance, but was soon driven back ; and when he would have 
made a second assault, Hagen ruthlessly slew him. 

Imfried the Thuringian, and Hawart the Dane, seeing him 
fall, rushed impetuously upon the Burgundians to avenge him ; but 
both fell under Hagen's and Volker's mighty blows, while their 
numerous followers were all slain by the other Burgundians. 


" A thousand and four together had come into the hall; 
You might see the broadswords flashing rise and fall; 
Soon the bold intruders all dead together lay ; 
Of those renown'd Burgundians strange marvels one might say." 

Nibehingenlied (Lettsom's tr.). 

Etzel and the Huns were mourning over their dead; so the 
weary Burgundians removed their helmets and rested, while 
Kriemhild continued to muster new troops to attack her kinsmen, 
who were still strongly intrenched in the great hall. 

" 'Twas e'en on a midsummer befell that murderous fight. 
When on her nearest kinsmen and many a noble knight 
Dame Kriemhild wreak'd the anguish that long in heart she bore, 
Whence inly griev'd King Etzel, nor joy knew evermore. 

" Yet on such sweeping slaughter at first she had not thought; 
She only had for vengeance on one transgressor sought. 
She wish'd that but on Hagen the stroke of death might fall; 
'Twas the foul fiend's contriving that they should perish all." 

Nihelungenlied (Lettsom's tr.). 

An attempt was now made by the Burgundians to treat with 
Etzel for a safe-conduct. Obdurate at first, he would have 
yielded had not Kriemhild advised him to pursue the feud to the 
bitter end, unless her brothers consented to surrender Hagen to 
her tender mercies. This, of course, Gunther absolutely refused 
to do ; so Kriemhild gave secret orders that the hall in which the 
Burgundians were intrenched should be set on fire. Surrounded 
by bitter foes, blinded by smoke, and overcome by the heat, the 
Burgundians still held their own, slaking their burning thirst by 
drinking the blood of the slain, and taking refuge from the flames 
under the stone arches which supported the ceiling of the hall. 

Thus they managed to survive that terrible night ; but when 

morning dawned and the queen heard that they were still alive, she 

bade Riidiger go forth and fight them. He refused 

Riidiger's oath. . .,.,,. 

until she reminded him of the solemn oath he had 
sworn to her in Worms before she would consent to accompany 
him to Hungary. 


Now think upon the homage that once to me you swore, 
When to the Rhine, good warrior. King Etzel's suit you bore. 
That you would serve me ever to cither's dying day. 
Ne'er can I need so deeply that you that vow should pay.' " 

NihelungenUed (Lettsom's tr.). 

Torn by conflicting feelings and urged by opposite oaths,— for 
he had also sworn to befriend the Burgundians,— Riidiger now 
vainly tried to purchase his release by the sacrifice of all his pos- 
sessions. At last, goaded to madness, he yielded to the king's 
and queen's entreaties, armed his warriors, and drew near the hall 
where his former guests were intrenched. At first they could not 
beheve that Rudiger had any hostile intentions ; but when he 
pathetically informed them that he must fight, and recommended 
his wife and daughter to their care in case he fell, they silently 
allowed him and his followers to enter the hall, and grimly re- 
newed the bloody conflict. 

Riidiger, after slaying many foes, encountered Gemot wield- 
ing the sword he had given him ; and these two doughty cham- 
pions finally slew each other. All the followers of Death of 
Riidiger also fell ; and when Kriemhild, who was Rudiger. 
anxiously awaiting the result of this new attack in the court 
below, saw his corpse among the slain, she began to weep and 
bemoan her loss. The moumftil tidings of Rudiger's death soon 
spread all over the town and came finally to the ears of Dietrich 
von Bern, who bade his man Hildebrand go and claim the corpse 
from his Burgundian friends. 

Hildebrand went thither with an armed force, but some of his 
men unfortunately began to bandy words with the Burgundians, 
and this soon brought about an impetuous fight. In the ensuing 
battle all the Burgundians fell except Gunther and Hagen, while 
Hildebrand escaped sore wounded to his master, Dietrich von 
Bern. When this hero heard that his nephew and vassals were 
all slain, he quickly armed himself, and, after vainly imploring 
Gunther and Hagen to surrender, fell upon them with an armed 
force. The two sole remaining Burgundians were now so ex- 


hausted that Dietrich soon managed to take them captive. He 
led them bound to Kriemhild, and implored her to have pity upon 
them and spare their Hves. 

" ' Fair and noble Kriemhild,' thus Sir Dietrich spake, 
' Spare this captive warrior, who full amends will make 
For all his past transgressions ; him here in bonds you see ; 
Revenge not on the fetter'd th' offenses of the free.'" 

Nibelungenlied Qjtxxsau^ % tr,). 

By the queen's orders, Gunther and Hagen were confined in 
separate cells. There she soon sought the latter, promising him his 

Kriemhiid's liberty if he would but reveal the place where her 
cruelty. treasure was concealed. But Hagen, mistrusting 
her, declared that he had solemnly sworn never to reveal the 
secret as long as one of his masters breathed. Kriemhild, whose 
cruelty had long passed all bounds, left him only to have her 
brother Gunther beheaded, and soon retmned carrying his head, 
which she showed to Hagen, commanding him to speak. But 
he still refused to gratify her, and repHed that since he was now 
the sole depositary of the secret, it would perish with him. 

" ' So now, where lies the treasure none knows save God and me, 
And told it shall be never, be sure, she-fiend, to thee ! ' " 

N-^elung^enlied (Jlj^UsotiCs tr.). 

This defiant answer so exasperated Kriemhild that she seized 
the sword hanging by his side, — which she recognized as Sieg- 

Kriemhiid fried's favorite weapon, — and with her own hands 

slain. cut off his head before Etzel or any of his courtiers 

could interfere. Hildebrand, seeing this act of treachery, sprang 

impetuously forward, and, drawing his sword, slew her who had 

brought untold misery into the land of the Huns. 

" The mighty and the noble there lay together dead; 
For this had all the people dole and drearihead. 
The feast of royal Etzel was thus shut up in woe. 
Pain in the steps of Pleasure treads ever here below. 


" 'Tis more than I can tell you what afterwards befell, 
Save that there was weeping for friends belov'd so well; 
Knights and squires, dames and damsels, were seen lamenting all. 
So end I here my story. This is the Nibelungers' Fall." 

NibelungenUed (Lettsom's tr.). 

Although the " NibelungenUed " proper ends here, an appen- 
dix, probably by another hand, called the " Lament," continues 
the story, and relates how Etzel, Dietrich, and Hildebrand, in 
turn, extolled the high deeds and bewailed the untimely end of 
each hero. Then this poem, which is as mournful as monoto- 
nous throughout, describes the departure of the messengers sent to 
bear the evil tidings and the weapons of the slain to Worms, and 
their arrival at Passau, where more tears were shed and where 
Bishop Pilgrim celebrated a solemn mass for the rest of the 
heroes' souls. 

From thence the funeral procession slowly traveled on to Worms, 
where the sad news was imparted to the remaining Burgundians, 
who named the son of Gunther and Brunhild as their king, and 
who never forgot the fatal ride to Hungary. 



Although the following tales of mythical heroes have some 
slight historical basis, they have been so adorned by the fancy of 
mediaeval bards, and so frequently remodeled with utter disregard 
of all chronological sequence, that the kernel of truth is very hard 
to find, and the stories must rather be considered as depicting 
customs and times than as describing actual events. They are 
recorded in the " Heldenbuch," or " Book of Heroes," edited 
in the fifteenth century by Kaspar von der Rhon from materials 
which had been touched up by Wolfram von Eschenbach and 
Heinrich von Ofterdingen in the twelfth century. The poem of 
" Ortnit," for instance, is known to have existed as early as the 
ninth century. 

According to the poets of the middle ages, the Gepidae and the 
Langobards settled in Pannonia (Hungary and the neighboring 
The Langobards provinces), where they were respectively governed 
and Gepids. ^y Thurisind and Audoin. The sons of these two 
kings, having quarreled for a trifle, met in duel soon after, and 
the Langobardian prince, having slain his companion, took pos- 
session of his arms, with which he proudly returned home. 

But when, flushed with victory, he would fain have taken his 
seat at his father's board with the men at arms, Audoin gravely 
informed him that it was not customary for a youth to claim a 
place beside tried warriors until some foreign king had distin- 
guished him by the present of a complete suit of armor. Angry 
at being thus publicly repulsed, Alboin, the prince, strode out of 



his father's hall, resolved to march into Thurisind's palace and 
demand of him the required weapons. 

When the King of the Gepidse saw his son's murderer boldly 
enter his palace, his first impulse was to put him to death ; but, 
respecting the rights of hospitahty, he forbore to take immediate 
vengeance, and even bestowed upon him the customary gift of 
arms as he departed on the morrow, but warned him never to re- 
turn, lest he should lose his hfe at the warriors' hands. On leaving 
the palace, however, Alboin bore away the image of httle Rosa- 
mund, Thurisind's fair granddaughter, whom he solemnly swore 
he would claim as wife as soon as she was of marriageable age. 

Alboin having thus received his arms from a stranger, the 
Langobards no longer refused 'to recognize him as a full-fledged 
warrior, and gladly hailed him as king when his father died. 

Shortly after Alboin's accession to the throne, a quarrel arose 
between the Gepidae and the Langobards, or Lombards, as they 
were eventually called ; and war having been de- Aiboin's 
clared, a decisive battle was fought, in which Thur- cruelty, 
isind and his son perished, and all their lands fell into the con- 
queror's hands. With true heathen cruelty, the Lombard king 
had the skulls of the Gepidse mounted as drinking vessels, which 
he delighted in using on all state and festive occasions. Then, 
pushing onwards, Alboin took forcible possession of his new realm 
and of the tearful young Rosamund, whom he forced to become 
his wife, although she shrank in horror from the murderer of all 
her kin and the oppressor of her people. 

She followed him home, concealing her fears, and although she 
never seemed blithe and happy, she obeyed her husband so im- 
plicitly that he fancied her a devoted wife. He was so accus- 
tomed to Rosamund's ready compUance with his every wish that 
one day, after winning a great victory over the Ostrogoths, and 
conquering a province in northern Italy (where he took up his 
abode, and which bears the name of his race), he bade her fill her 
father's skull with wine and pledge him by drinking first out of 
this repulsive cup. 


The queen hesitated, but, impelled by Alboin's threatening 
glances and his mailed hand raised to strike her, she tremblingly 

Rosamund's filled the cup and raised it to her lips. But then, 
revolt. instead of humbly presenting it to her lord, she 
haughtily dashed it at his feet, and left the hall, saying that though 
she had obeyed him, she would never again live with him as 
his wife, — a declaration which the warriors present secretly ap- 
plauded, for they all thought that their king had been wantonly 
cruel toward his beautiful wife. 

While Alboin was pondering how he might conciliate her with- 
out owning himself in the wrong, Rosamund summoned Helmigis, 
the king's shield-bearer, and finding that he would not execute her 
orders and murder his master in his sleep, she secured the services 
of the giant Perideus. Before the murder of the king became gen- 
erally known, Rosamund and her adherents — for she had many 
—secured and concealed the treasures of the Crown ; and when 
the nobles bade her marry a man to succeed their king, who had 
left no heirs, she declared that she preferred Helmigis. 

The Langobardian nobles indignantly refused to recognize an 
armor-bearer as their king, and Rosamund, fearing their resent- 

Death of ment, fled by night with her treasures, and took 

Rosamund, refuge with Longinus, viceroy of the Eastern em- 
peror, who was intrenched in Ravenna. Captivated by the fugi- 
tive queen's exquisite beauty, no less than by her numerous 
treasures, Longinus proposed that she should poison Helmigis, 
and marry him. Rosamund obediently handed the deadly cup 
to her faithful adorer ; but he drank only half its contents, and 
then, perceiving that he was poisoned, forced her, at the point 
of his sword, to drink the remainder, thus making sure that she 
would not long survive him. 

Longinus, thus deprived of a beautiful bride, managed to con- 
sole himself for her loss by appropriating her treasures, while the 
Langobardian scepter, after having been wielded by different 
kings, fell at last into the hands of Rother, the last influential 
monarch of a kingdom which Charlemagne conquered in 774. 


Rother established his capital at Bari, a great seaport in Apu- 
lia ; but although his wealth was unbounded and his kingdom ex- 
tensive, he was far from happy, for he had neither 
wife nor child to share his home. Seeing his 
loneliness, one of his courtiers, Duke Berchther (Berchtung) of 
Meran, the father of twelve stalwart sons, advised him to seek a 
wife ; and when Rother declared that he knew of no princess 
pretty enough to please his fastidious taste, the courtier produced 
the portrait of Oda, daughter of Constantine, Emperor of the East. 
Rother fell desperately in love with this princess at first sight. 
In vain Berchther warned him that the emperor had the unpleas- 
ant habit of beheading all his daughter's would-be suitors ; Rother 
declared that he must make an attempt to secure this peerless 
bride, and was only with great difficulty persuaded to resign the 
idea of wooing in person. 

When Berchther had prevailed upon him to send an imposing 
embassy of twelve noblemen, richly appareled, and attended by 
a large suite, Rother asked who would undertake the mission. 
All the warriors maintained a neutral silence, until seven of 
Berchther's sons volunteered their services, and then five other 
noblemen signified their readiness to accompany them. 

To speed them on their way, Rother escorted them to the port, 
and, standing on the pier, composed and sang a marvelous song. 
He bade them remember the tune, and promised them that when- 
ever they heard it they might be sure their king was very near. 

Arrived at Constantinople, the ambassadors made known their 
errand, but were immediately cast into prison, in spite of the 
empress's intercession in their behalf. Here the Embassy to 
noblemen languished month after month, in a foul Constantinople, 
dungeon, while Rother impatiently watched for their return. 
When a whole year had elapsed without his having heard any 
tidings, he finally resolved to go in disguise to Constantinople, to 
ascertain the fate of his men and win the lovely princess Oda for 
his bride. 

Berchther, hearing this decision, vowed that he would accom- 


pany him ; but although all the noblemen were anxious to escort 
their beloved king, he took only a few of them with him, among 
whom was Asprian (Osbom), king of the northern giants, with 
eleven of his tallest men. 

Rother embarked with this little train, and sailed for Constan- 
tinople over the summer seas ; and as he sat on deck, playing on 

Rother and his harp, the mermaids rose from the deep to sport 
Constantine. around his ship. According to a prearranged plan, 
Rother presented himself before Constantine as a fugitive and 
outlaw, complaining bitterly of the King of the Lombards, who, he 
declared, had banished him and his companions. Pleased with 
the appearance of the strangers, Constantine gladly accepted their 
proffered services, and invited them to a banquet, in the course 
of which he facetiously described how he had received Rother's 
ambassadors, who were still languishing in his dampest dungeons. 
This boastful talk gradually roused the anger of the giant Asprian, 
who was but little accustomed to hide his feelings ; and when the 
emperor's pet lioness came into the hall and playfully snatched 
a choice morsel out of his hand, he impetuously sprang to his 
feet, caught her in his powerful grasp, and hurled her against the 
wall, thus slaying her with a single blow. 

Constantine was somewhat dismayed when he saw the strength, 
and especially the violence, of the new servants he had secured ; 
but he wisely took no notice of the affair, and, when the banquet 
was ended, dismissed Rother and his followers to the apartments 
assigned them. The Lombard king now freely distributed the 
immense treasures he had brought with him, and thus secured 
many adherents at court. They sang his praises so loudly that 
at last the princess Oda became very anxious to see this noted 

Bribing Herlind, one of her handmaidens, to serve her secretly,. 
Oda sent her to Rother to invite him to visit her. The maiden 

Rother and acquitted herself adroitly of this commission ; but 
Oda. tjie Langobardian monarch, pretending exagger- 

ated respect, declared th0,t he would never dare present himself 


before her beautiful mistress, to whom, however, he sent many 
rich gifts, among which were a gold and a silver shoe. Herlind 
returned to her mistress with the gifts ; but when Oda would fain 
have put on the shoes, she discovered that they were both for the 
same foot. She then feigned a resentment she was far from feel- 
ing, and bade the handmaiden order her father's new servant to 
appear before her without delay, bringing a shoe for her other foot, 
unless he wished to incur her lasting displeasure. Overjoyed at 
this result of his ruse, which he had foreseen, Rother entered the 
princess's apartments unnoticed, proffered his most humble apol- 
ogies, fitted a pair of golden shoes on her tiny feet, and, taking 
advantage of his position as he bent on one knee before her, de- 
clared his love and rank, and won from Oda a solemn promise 
that she would be his wife. 

The lovers spent some very happy hours together in intimate 
conversation, and ere Rother left the apartment he prevailed up- 
on the princess to use her influence in behalf of his imprisoned 
subjects. She therefore told her father that her peaceful rest had 
been disturbed by dreams, in which heavenly voices announced 
that she should suffer all manner of evil unless Rother's ambassa- 
dors were taken from prison and hospitably entertained. Oda 
then wrung from Constantine a promise that the men should be 
temporarily released, and feasted at his own board that selfsame 
evening. This promise was duly redeemed, and the twelve am- 
bassadors, freed from their chains, and refreshed by warm baths 
and clean garments, were sumptuously entertained at the emperor's 
table. While they sat there feasting, Rother entered the hall, and, 
hiding behind the tapestry hangings near the door, played the 
tune they had heard on the day of their departure. The hearts 
of the captives bounded for joy when they heard these strains, 
for they knew that their king was near and would soon effect 
their release. 

A few days later, when the young ambassadors had fully re- 
covered their health and strength, Constantine was dismayed to 
learn that Imelot, King of Desert Babylonia, was about to make 


war against him, and wondered how he could successfully en- 
counter such a universally dreaded opponent. Rother, seeing 

War with his perplexity, immediately volunteered his services, 
imeiot. adding that if Constantine liberated the ambassa- 
dors, who were mighty men of valor, and allowed them to fight, 
there would be no doubt of his coming off conqueror in the war. 
The Eastern emperor gladly followed this advice, and soon set 
out with Rother and all his companions. The two armies met 
one evening and encamped opposite each other, intending to 
begin the fight at sunrise on the morrow. During the night, 
however, Rother and his companions stole into the enemy's camp, 
slew Imelot's guards, and having bound and gagged him, Asprian 
carried him bodily out of his tent and camp, while his companions 
routed all the mighty Babylonian host. 

A few hours later they returned to the camp of Constantine, 
where they lay down to rest. The emperor, entering their tent 
on the morrow to chide them for their laziness, saw the captive 
Imeiot, and heard the story of the night's work. He was so de- 
lighted with the prowess of his allies that he gladly consented to 
their return to Constantinople to announce the victory, while he 
and his army remained to take possession of Desert Babylonia 
and of all of Imelot's vast treasures. 

Rother and his companions returned in haste to Constantinople 
and rushed into the palace ; but instead of announcing a victory 
they told the empress and Oda that Constantine had been de- 
feated, that Imeiot was on the way to seize the city, and that 
the emperor had sent them on ahead to convey his wife and 
daughter to a place of safety, with their most valuable treasures. 

The empress and Oda, crediting every word of this tale, made 
immediate preparations for departure, and soon joined Rother on 

Kidnaping the pier, where his fast sailing vessel was ready 
of Oda. to start. All the Langobardians had already em- 
barked, and Rother escorted the princess on board, bidding the 
empress wait on the quay until he returned for her. But as soon 
as he and his fair charge set foot upon deck, the vessel was pushed 


off, and Rother called out to the distressed empress that he had 
deceived her in order to carry away her daughter, who was now 
to become the Langobardian queen. 

Constantine, on his return, was of course very angry at having 
been so cleverly duped, and vainly tried to devise some plan for 
recovering the daughter whom he loved so well. When a magi- 
cian came, therefore, and promised to execute his wishes, he 
gladly provided him with vessel and crew to sail to Bari. The 
magician, disguised as a peaceful merchant, spread out his wares 
as soon as he was anchored in port, and by a series of artful ques- 
tions soon ascertained that Rother was absent, and that Oda was 
at home, carefully guarded by the principal nobles of the realm. 
When he also learned that one of these noblemen had a crippled 
child, the magician informed the people who visited his vessel to 
inspect his wares, that the most precious treasure in his possession 
was a magic stone, which, in a queen's hands, had the power of 
restoring cripples. 

The rumor of this miraculous stone reached the court, and the 
nobleman persuaded the kind-hearted queen to go down to the 
vessel to try the efficacy of the stone. As soon as Oda was on 
board, the vessel set sail, bearing her away from her husband and 
back to her father's home, where she was welcomed with great 
demonstrations of joy. 

Rother, coming back from the war shortly after her disappear- 
ance, immediately prepared a vessel to go in pursuit of her, select- 
ing his giants and bravest noblemen to accompany him. Once 
more they landed at a short distance from Constantinople, and 
Rother bade his men hide in a thicket, while he went into the 
city, disguised as a pilgrim, and carrying under his robe a hunt- 
ing horn, which he promised to sound should he at any time find 
himself in danger. 

He no sooner entered the city than he noticed with surprise 
that all the inhabitants seemed greatly depressed. He questioned 
them concerning their evident sadness, and learned that Imelot, 
having effected his escape from captivity, had invaded the king- 


dom, and vowed that he would not retreat unless Oda married his 
ugly and hunchbacked son that very day. 

These tidings made Rother press on to the palace, where, 
thanks to his disguise, he effected an easy entrance. Slipping 
imeiot again unnoticed to his wife's side, he dropped into the 
defeated. ^yp beside her a ring upon which his name was 
engraved. Quick as a flash Oda recognized and tried to hide it ; 
but her hunchbacked suitor, sitting beside her, also caught sight 
of it. He pointed out the intruder, cried that he was Rother in 
disguise, and bade his guards seize him and hang him. Rother, 
seeing that he was discovered, boldly stepped forward, declared 
that he had come to claim his wife, and challenged the cowardly 
hunchback, who, however, merely repeated his orders, and ac- 
companied his guards to a grove outside the city to see his cap- 
tive executed. Just as they were about to fasten the fatal noose 
around his neck, Rother blew a resounding blast upon his horn, 
in answer to which call his followers sprang out of their ambush, 
slew guards, Imeiot, and hunchback, routed the imperial forces, 
recovered possession of Oda, and sailed home in triumph to 
Lombardy. Here Oda bore her husband a lovely little daughter 
called Helche (Herka), who eventually married Etzel (Attila), 
King of the Huns. 

Another renowned Lombardian king is Ortnit (Otnit), whose 

realm included not only all Italy, from the Alps to the sea, but 

also the island of Sicily. He had won this province 

by his fabulous strength, which, we are told, was 

equivalent to that of twelve vigorous men. 

In spite of all outward prosperity, Ortnit was lonely and un- 
happy. One day, while he was strolling along the seashore at 
sunset, he saw a misty castle rise slowly out of the waves. On 
its topmost tower he beheld a fair maiden, with whom he fell 
deeply in love at first sight. As he was gazing spellbound at the 
lady's beauty, castle and maiden suddenly vanished ; and when 
Ortnit asked his uncle, Ylyas (Elias), Prince of the Reussen, what 


this fantastic vision might mean, he learned that the castle was 
the exact reproduction of the stronghold of Muntabure, and the 
maiden a phantom of Princess Sidrat, daughter of the ruler of 
Syria, which the Fata Morgana, or Morgana the fay, had permitted 
him to behold. 

" As the weary traveler sees, 
In desert or prairie vast, 
Blue lakes, overhung with trees, 
That a pleasant shadow cast ; 

" Fair towns with turrets high, 
And shining roofs of gold, 
That vanish as he draws nigh, 
Like mists together rolled." 

Longfellow, Fata Morgana. 

Of course Ortnit vowed that he would go and ask the maiden's 
hand in marriage; and although his uncle warned him that 
Machorell, the girl's father, beheaded all his daughter's suitors, to 
use their heads as decorations for his fortifications, the young 
king persisted in this resolve. 

Forced to go by sea in order to reach Syria, Ortnit had to 
delay his departure until suitable preparations had been made. 
During that time his mother vainly tried to dis- ortnitandthe 
suade him from the undertaking. Finally, seeing magic ring, 
that nothing could deter him from going in search of the lovely 
maiden he had seen, she slipped a ring on his hand, and bade him 
ride out of town in a certain direction, and dismount under a 
lime tree, where he would see something marvelous. 

" ' If thou wilt seek the adventure, don thy armor strong; 
Far to the left thou ride the towering rocks along. 
But bide thee, champion, and await, where grows a linden tree j 
There, flowing from the rock, a well thine eyes will see. 

" ' Far around the meadow spread the branches green ; 
Five hundred armed knights may stand beneath the shade, I ween. 
Below the linden tree await, and thou wilt meet full soon 
The marvelous adventure ; there must the deed be done.' " 

Htldmbuch (Weber's tr.). 


Ortnit obeyed these instructions, dismounted in a spot which 
seemed strangely familiar, and, gazing inquisitively around him, 
became aware of the presence of a lovely sleeping infant. But 
when he attempted to take it in his arms he found himself sprawl- 
ing on the ground, knocked over by a single blow from the child's 
tiny fist. Furious at his overthrow, Ortnit began wrestling with 
his small assailant; but in spite of his vaunted strength he suc- 
ceeded in pinioning him only after a long struggle. 

Unable to free himself from Ortnit's powerful grasp, the child 

now confessed that he was Alberich, king of the dwarfs, and 

promised Ortnit a marvelous suit of armor and the 

Alberich. , „ ,.,,,, , . , 

sword Rosen — which had been tempered m drag- 
ons' blood, and was therefore considered invulnerable — if he 
would only let him go. 

" ' Save me, noble Otnit, for thy chivalry ! 
A hauberk will I give thee, strong, and of wondrous might ; 
Better armor never bore champion in the fight. 

" ' Not eighty thousand marks would buy the hauberk bright. 
A sword of mound I'll give thee, Otnit, thou royal knight ; 
Through armor, both of gold and steel, cuts the weapon keen ; 
The helmet could its edge withstand ne'er in this world was seen.' " 

Heldenlmch (Weber's tr.). 

The king consented, but the moment he set the dwarf free he 
felt him snatch the ring his mother had given him off his hand, 
and saw him mysteriously and suddenly disappear, his voice 
sounding tauntingly now on one side, now on the other. Some 
parley ensued before the dwarf would restore the ring, which was 
no sooner replaced on the hero's hand than he once more found 
himself able to see his antagonist. 

Alberich now gravely informed Ortnit that in spite of his infan- 
tile stature he was very old indeed, having lived more than five 
hundred years. He then went on to tell him that the king, whom 
Ortnit had until then considered his father, had no claim to the 
title of parent, for he had secretly divorced his wife, and given 


her in marriage to Alberich. Thus the dwarf was Ortnit's true 
father, and declared himself ready now to acknowledge their re- 
lationship and to protect his son. 

After giving Ortnit the promised armor and sword, and direct- 
ing him to turn the magic ring if ever he needed a father's aid, 
Alberich vanished. Ortnit, returning to town, in- ortnit in 
formed his mother that he had seen his father ; and Tyre, 

as soon as the weather permitted he set sail for Suders (Tyre). 
Ortnit entered the harbor as a merchant, and exhibited his wares 
to the curious people, while Alberich, at his request, bore a chal- 
lenge to Machorell, threatening to take Tyre and the castle of 
Muntabure unless he were willing to accept Ortnit as son-in-law. 

The dwarf acquitted himself nobly of his task, and when 
Machorell scornfully dismissed him, he hastened back to Tyre, 
bidding Ortnit lose no time in surprising and taking possession of 
the city. This advice was so well carried out that Ortnit soon 
found himself master of the city, and marching on to Muntabure, 
he laid siege to the castle, restoring all his men as soon as they were 
wounded by a mere touch of his magic ring. Alberich, whom 
none but he could see, was allowed to lead the van and bear the 
banner, which seemed to flutter aloft in a fantastic way. The 
dwarf took advantage of this invisibility to scale the walls of the 
fortress imseen, and hurled down the ponderous machines used 
to throw stones, arrows, boiling pitch, and oil. Thus he greatly 
helped Ortnit, who, in the mean while, was performing unheard-of 
deeds of valor, which excited the admiration of Princess Sidrat, 
watching him from her tower. 

Alberich next gUded to this maiden's side, and bade her has- 
ten to the postern gate early on the morrow, if she would see the 
king. As Ortnit had been told that he would find ortnit and 
her there, he went thither in the early dawn, and Liebgan. 
pleaded his cause so eloquently that Sidrat eloped with him to 
Lombaidy. There she became his beloved queen, was baptized 
in the Christian faith, and received the name of Liebgart, by 
which she was ever afterward known. 


The happiness of Ortnit and Liebgart was very great, but the 
young queen did not feel that it was quite complete until a giant 

The magic and his wife came from her father's court bringing 
eggs- concihatory messages, and a promise that Macho- 

rell would visit his daughter in the early spring. They also 
brought countless valuable presents, among which were two huge 
eggs, which the giants said were priceless, as from them could 
be hatched magic toads with lodestones in their foreheads. Of 
course Liebgart's curiosity was greatly excited by this gift, and 
learning that the giant couple would see to the hatching of the 
eggs and the bringing up of the toads if a suitable place were 
only provided for them, she sent them into a mountain gorge 
near Trient, where the chmate was hot and damp enough for the 
proper hatching of the toads. 

Time passed by, and the giantess Ruotze hatched dragons or 
lind-worms from the huge eggs. These animals grew with alarm- 
ing rapidity, and soon the governor of the province sent word 
to the king that he could no longer provide food enough for the 
monsters, which had become the terror of the whole countryside. 
They finally proved too much even for the giants, who were 
obliged to flee. When Ortnit learned that ordinary weapons 
had no effect upon these dragons, he donned his magic armor 
and seized his sword Rosen. He then bade Liebgart a tender 
farewell, telling her that if he did not retiun she must marry none 
but the man who wore his ring, and sallied forth to deliver his 
people from the ravenous monsters whom he had thoughtlessly 
allowed to be bred in their midst. 

Ortnit soon dispatched the giant and giantess, who would fain 
have hindered his entrance into the fatal gorge. Then he encoun- 
tered the dwarf Alberich, and was warned that he would fall victim 
to the pestilent dragons, which had bred a number of young 
ones, destined, in time, to infest all Europe. 

In spite of these warnings, Ortnit declared that he must do his 
best for the sake of his people ; and having given the magic ring 
back to Alberich, he continued on his way. All day long he vainly 


sought the monsters in the trackless forest, until, sinking down 
exhausted at the foot of a tree, he soon fell asleep. This slumber 
was so profound that it was like a lethargy, and Death of 
the wild barking of his dog failed to waken him so ortnit. 
that he could prepare for the stealthy approach of the great 
dragon. The monster caught the sleeping knight in his power- 
ful claws, and dashed him against the rocks until every bone in 
his body was broken into bits, although the magic armor remained 
quite whole. 

Then the dragon conveyed the corpse to his den, where the 
httle dragons vainly tried to get at the knight to eat his flesh, 
being daunted by the impenetrable armor, which would not give 

In the mean while Liebgart was anxiously awaiting the return 
of her beloved husband ; but when she saw his dog steal into 
the palace in evident grief, she knew that Ortnit was dead, and 
mourned for him with many a tear. As he had left no heir to 
succeed him, the nobles soon crowded around Liebgart, implor- 
ing her to marry one of them and make him king of Lombardy ; 
but she constantly refused to listen to their wooing. 

Angry at her resistance, the noblemen then took possession of 
treasiure, palace, and kingdom, and left poor Liebgart so utterly 
destitute that she was forced to support herself by Liebgart 
spinning and weaving. She carried on these occu- dethroned, 
pations for a long time, while patiently waiting for the coming 
of a knight who would avenge Ortnit's death, wear his ring, claim 
her hand in mairiage, and restore her to her former exalted posi- 
tion as queen of Lombardy. 



While Ortnit's ancestors were ruling over Lombardy, Anzius 
was Emperor of Constantinople. When about to die, this mon- 
arch confided his infant son, Hugdietrich, to the 
care of Berchther of Meran, the same who had ac- 
companied Rother on his journey to Constantinople. 

When Hugdietrich attained marriageable age, his tutor felt it 
incumbent upon him to select a suitable wife for him. One prin- 
cess only, Hildburg, daughter of Walgund of Thessalonica, seemed 
to unite all the required advantages of birth, beauty, and wealth ; 
but unfortunately this princess's father was averse to her marry- 
ing, and, to prevent her from having any lovers, had locked her 
up in an isolated tower, where none but women were ever ad- 

Berchther having informed his ward of his plan, and of the diffi- 
culties concerning its fulfillment, Hugdietrich immediately made 
up his mind to bring it about, even if he had to resort to strata- 
gem in order to win his bride. After much cogitation he let his 
hair grow, learned all about woman's work and ways, donned 
female garments, and journeyed off to Thessalonica, where he 
presented himself before the king as a princess in distress, and 
claimed his chivalrous protection. Walgund welcomed the pre- 
tended princess warmly, and accepted her gifts of gold and em- 
broidery. As soon as he had shown the latter to his wife and 
daughter, they expressed a lively desire to see the stranger and 
have her teach them to embroider also. 


Hugdietrich, having thus effected an entrance into the princess's 
tower as embroidery teacher, soon managed to quiet Hildburg's 
alarm when she discovered that the pretended „ . 

^ Marriage of 

pnncess'was a suitor in disguise, and wooed her so Hugdietrich 
successfully that she not only allowed him to take ^"'^ ""'^'""■b- 
up his abode in the tower, but also consented to a secret union. 
All went on very well for some time, but finally Hugdietrich 
felt it his duty to return to his kingdom ; and parting from his 
young wife, he solemnly promised to return ere long to claim her 

On reaching home, however, he found himself unexpectedly 
detained by a war which had just broken out ; and while he was 
fighting, Hildburg anxiously watched for his return. Birth of 
Month after month passed by without any news of Woifdietrich. 
him, till Hildburg, in her lonely tower, gave birth to a little son, 
whose advent was kept secret by the ingenuity and devotion of 
the princess's nurse. 

When the queen presented herself at the door unexpectedly one 
day, this servant hastily carried the child out of the building, and 
set him down on the grass in the moat, intending to come and 
get him in a few moments. She could not do so, however, as 
the queen kept her constantly beside her, and prolonged her visit 
to the next day. 

" In the moat the new-born babe meanwhile in silence lay, 
Sleeping on the verdant grass, gently, all the day. 
From the swathing and the bath the child had stinted weeping ; 
No one saw, or heard its voice, in the meadow sleeping. " 

Heldenbuch (Weber's tr.). 

When the faithful nurse, released at last, rushed out to find 
her charge, who could creep about, she could discover no trace 
of him ; and not daring to confide the truth to Hildburg, she in- 
formed her that she had sent the child out to nurse. 

A few days later, Berchther of Meran arrived at Thessalonica, 
saying that Hugdietrich had fallen in love with Hildburg on 
hearing a description of her charms from the exiled princess, his 


sister, and openly suing in his name for her hand. Instead of 
giving an immediate answer to this proposal, Walgund invited 
the ambassador to hunt with him in a neighboring forest on the 

Accidentally separated from their respective suites, Walgund and 
Berchther came to a thicket near the princess's tower, and peering 

Rescue of through the underbrush to discover the meaning of 
■Woifdietrich. gome Strange sounds, they saw a beautiful little boy 
sitting on the grass, playfully handling some young wolf cubs, 
whose struggles he seemed not to mind in the least. While the 
two men were gazing spellbound at this strange sight, they saw 
the mother wolf draw near, ready to spring upon the innocent 
child and tear him limb from limb. As Berchther skillfully flung 
his spear past the child and slew the wolf, Walgund sprang for- 
ward and caught the babe in his arms, exclaiming that if he were 
only sure his grandchildren would be as handsome and fearless as 
this little boy, he would soon consent to his daughter's marriage. 

As the child was so small that it still required a woman's ten- 
der care, Walgund next proposed to carry it to the tower, where 
his daughter and her attendants could watch over it until it was 
claimed ; and as Berchther indorsed this proposal, it was immedi- 
ately carried out. Hildburg received the charge with joy, re- 
vealed by her emotion that the child was her very own, and told 
her father all about her secret marriage with Hugdietrich, whom 
Walgund now graciously accepted as son-in-law. 

In memory of this adventure the baby rescued from the beast 
of prey was called Woifdietrich, and he and his mother, accom- 
panied by a nobleman named Sabene, were escorted in state to 
Constantinople, where Hugdietrich welcomed them with joy. 
Here they dwelt in peace for several years, at the end of which, 
a war having again broken out, Hugdietrich departed, confiding 
his wife and son to the care of Sabene, who now cast aside all 
his pretended virtue. After insulting the queen most grossly, he 
began to spread lying reports about the birth of the young heir, 
until the people, doubting whether he might not be considered 


a mere foundling, showed some unwillingness to recognize him 
as their future prince. 

Hugdietrich, returning home and hearing these remarks, also 
began to cherish some suspicions, and, instead of keeping Wolf- 
dietrich at court, sent him to Meran, where Berch- woifdietrich 
ther brought him up with his twelve stalwart sons, '° Meran. 
every one of whom the young prince outshone in beauty, courage, 
and skill in all manly exercises. 

In the mean while Hildburg had borne two other sons, Bogen 
and Waxmuth, to Hugdietrich ; but seeing that Sabene was still 
trying to poison people's minds against the absent Woifdietrich, 
and deprive him of his rights, she finally sought her husband, 
revealed the baseness of Sabene's conduct, and had him exiled. 
Hugdietrich's life was unfortunately cut short a few months after 
this, and when he felt that he was about to die, he disposed of all 
his property, leaving the sovereignty of Constantinople to Woif- 
dietrich, and making his younger sons kings of lands which he 
had conquered in the south. 

As soon as he had breathed his last, however, the nobles of the 
land, who had all been won over by Sabene's artful insinuations, 
declared that they would never recognize Wolf- HUdbure 
dietrich as their ruler, but would recall Sabene to banished by 
watch over the two younger kings, and exercise ^ ^°*" 

the royal power in their name. These measures having been car- 
ried out, Sabene avenged himself by banishing Hildburg, who, 
turned out of the imperial palace at night, was forced to make 
her way alone and on foot to Meran, where her son Woifdietrich 
received her gladly and promised to protect her with his strong 
right arm. 

At the head of a small troop composed of Berchther and his 
sons, Woifdietrich marched to Constantinople to oust Sabene ; 
but, in spite of all his valor, he soon found himself defeated, and 
forced to retreat to the castle of Lilienporte. Here he intrenched 
himself, rejoicing at the sight of the strong battlements, and 
especially at the provisions stored within its ijiclosure, which 


would suffice for all the wants of the garrison for more than 
seven years. 

In vain Sabene besieged this castle ; in vain he constructed 
huge engines of war ; the fortress held out month after month. 

Siege of At the end of the third year, Wolfdietrich, seeing 

Liiienporte. that their provisions would not hold out forever, 
resolved to make his escape alone, and go in search of allies to 
save his trusty friends. He soon obtained the consent of Berch- 
ther and of his mother for the execution of this scheme. 

While a skirmish was going on one day, Wolfdietrich escaped 
through the postern gate, and, riding into the forest, rapidly dis- 
appeared in the direction of Lombardy, where he intended to 
ask the aid of Ortnit. Riding through the deserts of Roumeha, 
where his guardian had bidden him beware of the enchantments 
of the witch Rauch-Else, he shared his last piece of bread with 
his faithful steed, and, faint with hunger and almost perishing 
with thirst, plodded painfully on. 

Finally horse and rider could go no farther, and as the latter 
lay in a half swoon upon the barren soil, he was suddenly roused 
by the appearance of a hideous, bearUke female, 
who grufBy inquired how he dared venture upon 
her territory. The unhappy Wolfdietrich recognized Rauch-Else 
by the description his guardian, Berchther, had given of her, and 
would have fled, had strength remained him to do so ; but, faint- 
ing with hunger, he could only implore her to give him something 
to eat. 

At this appeal Rauch-Else immediately produced a peculiar- 
looking root, of which he had no sooner tasted than he felt as 
strong and rested as ever before. By the witch's advice he gave 
the remainder of the root to his horse, upon whom it produced 
the same magic effect ; but when he would fain have expressed 
his gratitude and ridden away, Rauch-Else told him that he be- 
longed to her by decree of fate, and asked him to marry her. 

Not daring to refuse this proposal, which, however, was very 
distasteful in4eed, Wolfdietrich reluctantly assented, expressing a 


wish that she were not quite so repulsive. No sooner were the 
words fairly out of his mouth than he saw her suddenly trans- 
formed into a beautiful woman, and heard her declare that his 
" yes " had released her from an evil spell, and allowed her to re- 
sume her wonted form and name, which was Sigeminne, Queen 
of Old Troy. 

Slowly proceeding to the seashore, the young couple embarked 
in a waiting galley and sailed directly to Sigeminne's kingdom, 
where they lived happily together, Wolfdietrich woifdietrich 
having entirely forgotten his mother, tutor, and and Sigeminne. 
companions, who were vainly awaiting his return with an army 
to deliver them. 

" By the hand she led Wolfdietrich unto the forest's end ; 
To the sea she guided him ; a ship lay on the strand. 
To a spacious realm she brought him, hight the land of Troy." 

Heldenhuch (Weber's tr.). 

Wolfdietrich's happiness, however, was not to endure long ; for 
while he was pursuing a stag which his wife bade him secure 
for her, a magician named Drusian suddenly presented himself 
before Sigeminne and spirited her away. 

Wolfdietrich, finding his wife gone, resolved to go in search of 
her, and not to rest until he had found her. Then, knowing that 
nothing but cunning could prevail against the magician's art, he 
donned a magic silken vest which his wife had woven for him, 
which could not be penetrated by weapon or dragon, and cover- 
ing it with a pilgrim's garb, he traveled on until he came within 
sight of the castle of Drusian. 

Worn out by his long journey, he sat down for a moment to 
rest ere he began the ascent of the steep mountain upon which 
the castle stood ; and having fallen asleep, he was roughly awak- 
ened by a giant, who bore him ofE prisoner to the fortress, where 
he saw Sigeminne. 

" He led the weary pilgrim into the castle hall. 
Where brightly burned the fire, and many a taper tall. 


On a seat he sat him down, and made him right good cheer. 
His eyes around the hall cast the hero without fear.'' 

Heldenbuch (Weber's tr.). 

Wolfdietrich concealed his face in the depths of his cowl, and 
remained quietly seated by the fire until evening came. Then 

Death of the giant turned to the mourning queen, declaring 

Sigeminne. tij^t he had been patient long enough, and that she 
must now consent to marry him and forget her husband. Hardly 
had these words been spoken when Wolfdietrich, the pretended 
pilgrim, fell upon him, and refused to let him go until he had ac- 
cepted his challenge for a fair fight and had produced suitable 
arms. The young hero selected an iron armor, in preference to 
the gold and silver mail offered him, and boldly attacked the giant, 
who finally succumbed beneath his mighty blows. Sigeminne, 
thus restored to her husband's arms, then returned with him to 
Old Troy, where they ruled happily together until she died of a 
mortal illness. 

When she breathed her last, Wolfdietrich, delivered from the 
spell she had cast upon him by making him partake of the magic 
root, suddenly remembered his mother, Berchther, and his faith- 
ful companions, and, filled with compunction, hastened off to help 
them. On his way he passed through many lands, and finally 
came to a fortified town, whose walls were adorned with human 
heads set up on spikes. He asked a passer-by what this singu- 
lar decoration might mean, and learned that the city belonged to 
a heathen king, Belligan, who made it a practice to slay every 
Christian who entered his precincts. 

Wolfdietrich immediately resolved to rid the earth of this mon- 
ster, and riding boldly into the city, he cried that he was ready 

BeUigan slain ^° "^^^' ^^ '^"8 ™ ^'^ favorite game of dagger 

by Woifdie- throwing. This challenge was promptly accepted, 

the preparations all made, and although the heathen 

king was protected by his daughter's magic spells, he could not 

withstand the Christian knight, who pierced him through and 

through, and left him dead, 


" Speedily Wolfdietrich the third knife heaved on high. 
Trembling stood Sir Belligan, for he felt his death was nigh. 
The pagan's heart asunder with cunning skill he cleft ; 
Down upon the grass he fell, of life bereft." 

Heldenbuch (Weber's tr.). 

But as Wolfdietrich attempted to leave the castle, waves sud- 
denly surrounded him on all sides, threatening to drown him, 
until, suspecting that this phenomenon was produced by the 
princess's magic arts, he seized her and held her head under 
water until she died. Then the waves immediately subsided and 
permitted him to escape unharmed. 

Wolfdietrich next came to some mountains, where he encoun- 
tered a giantess, who told him the story of Ortnit's death, and so 
roused his compassion for the unfortunate Liebgart that he vowed 
to slay the dragon and avenge all her wrongs. To enable him 
to reach his destination sooner the giantess bore him and his horse 
over the mountains, fifty miles in one day, and set him down near 
Garden (Guarda), where he saw Liebgart and her sole remaining 
attendant sadly walking up and down. 

Struck by Liebgart's resemblance to the dead Sigeminne, Wolf- 
dietrich stood quietly in the shade long enough to overhear her 
sigh and say that she wished the brave Wolfdietrich would come 
along that way and avenge her husband's death. 

In answer to these words the hero presented himself impetu- 
ously before her, swore he would do all in his power to fulfill her 
wishes, and having received from her fair hand a -wolfdietrich 
ring, which she declared would bring the wearer «"<» Liebgart. 
good luck, he hastened off to the mountain gorge to encounter 
the dragons. On the way thither, Wolfdietrich met Alberich, 
who cautioned him not to yield to the desire for slumber if he 
would overcome the foe ; so pressing on in spite of almost over- 
powering lassitude, he met the dragon. 

Notwithstanding all his efforts Wolfdietrich soon found himself 
carried off to the monster's cave, where he was flung down to 
serve as pasture for the young lind-worms. They would surely 


have devoured him had he not been protected by Sigeminne's 
magic shirt, which they could not pierce. 

Looking about him for some weapon to defend himself with, 
Wolfdietrich suddenly saw Ortnit's ring and his sword Rosen, 
Ortnit's sword which he Seized, and wielded the latter to such 

and ring. good purpose that he soon slew all the dragons. 
He then cut out their tongues, which he packed in a bag the 
dwarfs brought him, and triumphantly rode off to find Liebgart 
and tell her of his success. But, as he lost his way in the forest, 
it was several days before he reached the town where she dwelt, 
and as he rode through the gates he was indignant to hear that 
Liebgart was about to marry a knight by the name of Gerhart, 
who had slain the dragon, brought home its head, and claimed 
the fulfillment of an old promise she had made to marry her 
husband's avenger. Wolfdietrich spurred onward, entered the 
castle, denounced the impostor Gerhart, and proved the truth of 
his assertions by producing the dragons' tongues. Then, turning 
to the queen, Wolfdietrich stretched out his hand to her, humbly 
asking whether she would marry him. At that moment Liebgart 
saw Ortnit's ring glittering on his finger, and, remembering her 
husband's last words, immediately signified her consent. 

The happy couple spent a whole year together in restoring 
order, peace, and prosperity to the Lombards, before Wolfdietrich 
left his wife to go and succor the companions whom he had 
neglected so long. Landing with his army near Constantinople, 
Wolfdietrich, disguised as a peasant, made his way into the city, 
and learned that Berchther and his sons had been put in prison. 
There the former had died, but the latter were still languishing in 
captivity. Wolfdietrich bribed the jailer to bear them a cheering 
message and strengthening food, and led his army against Sabene, 
whom he utterly routed. 

After recovering possession of Constantinople, granting full 
forgiveness to his erring brothers, executing Sabene, and liberat- 
ing his companions, to whom he intrusted the sovereignty of 
the empire, Wolfdietrich returned to Lombardy, and from thence 


proceeded with Liebgart to Romaburg (Rome), where he was 
duly crowned emperor. 

To reward Herbrand, Berchther's eldest son, for his faithfulness, 
Wolfdietrich gave him the city of Garden and all its territories, 
a realm which subsequently was inherited by his son Hildebrand, 
a hero whom we shall have further occasion to describe. 

Hache, another of Berchther's sons, received as his share all the 
Rhine land, which he left to his son, the trusty Eckhardt (Ecke- 
wart) who ever and anon appears in northern hterature to win 
mortals back to virtue and point out the road to honor. Wolf- 
dietrich and Liebgart were the happy parents of a son called 
Hugdietrich, like his grandfather; and this king's second son, 
Dietmar, was the father of the famous Dietrich von Bern, the 
hero of the next chapter of this volume. 



Dietrich von Bern, whose name is spelled in eighty-five differ- 
ent ways in the various ballads and chronicles written about him, 
has been identified with the historical Theodoric of Verona, whose 
" name was chosen by the poets of the early middle ages as the 
string upon which the pearls of their fantastic imagination were 
to be strung." 

This hero is one of the principal characters in the ancient Ger- 
man " Book of Heroes," and his adventures, which are recorded 
in many ancient manuscripts, and more especially in the Wilkina 
saga, are about as follows : 

Dietmar, the second son of Hugdietrich, or of Samson accord- 
ing to other authorities, became the independent ruler of Bern 
Parentage of ( Verona), and refused to recognize his elder brother, 

Dietrich. Ermenrich, Emperor of the West, as his liege lord. 
The young prince had married Odilia, the heiress of the con- 
quered Duke of Verona, who bore him a son called Dietrich. 
Gentle and generous when all went according to his wishes, this 
child was uncontrollable when his anger was roused, and his 
breath then came from his lips in a fiery toirent, scorching his 
opponent, and consuming all inflammable articles. 

When Dietrich was but five years of age his training was in- 
trusted to Hildebrand, son of Herbrand, one of the Volsung 
race ; and so well did the tutor acquit himself of this task that he 
soon made his pupil as accomplished a warrior as himself. Their 
tastes were, moreover, so similar that they soon became insepa- 



rable friends, and their attachment has become as proverbial 
among northern nations as that of David and Jonathan, Damon 
and Pythias, or Orestes and Pylades. 

Hearing that a giant, Grim, and a giantess, Hilde, were com- 
mitting great depredations in a remote part of his father's terri- 
tories, and that no one had been able to rout or slay them, young 
Dietrich set out with Master Hildebrand to attack them. They 
had not ridden long in the forest before they became aware of the 
presence of a tiny dwarf, Alberich (Alferich, Alpris, or Elbegast), 
and pouncing upon him, they held him fast, vowing that he 
should recover his hberty only upon condition of pointing out 
the giants' lurking place. 

The dwarf not only promised the desired information, but gave 
Dietrich the magic sword Nagelring, which alone could pierce 
the giants' skin. Then he led both heroes to the The sword 
cave, where Grim and Hilde were gloating over a Nagelring. 
magic helmet they had made and called Hildegrim. Peering 
through a fissure of the rock, Hildebrand was the first to gaze 
upon them, and in his eagerness to get at them he braced his 
shoulder against the huge mass of stone, forced it apart, and thus 
made a passage for himself and for his impetuous young pupil. 

As Nagelring, the magic sword, had been stolen from him, 
Grim attacked Dietrich with a blazing brand snatched from the 
fire, while Hildebrand and Hilde wrestled together. The encoun- 
ter was short and fierce between the young hero and his gigantic 
opponent, who soon succumbed beneath Nagelring's sharp blows. 
Then Dietrich, turning, came just in time to save his master from 
Hilde's treacherous blade. But, although one stroke of Nagelring 
cut her in two, the heroes were dismayed to see the severed parts 
of her body knit together in a trice, and permit Hilde, whole once 
more, to renew the attack. 

To prevent a repetition of this magical performance, Dietrich, 
after again cutting her in two, placed his sword between the sev- 
ered parts, and, knowing that steel annuls magic, left it there until 
all power to unite was gone and Hilde was really dead. The two 


heroes then returned home in triumph with Nagelring and Hilde- 
grim, the two famous trophies, which Dietrich took as his share 
of the spoil, leaving to Hildebrand an immense treasure of gold 
which made him the richest man of his day. This wealth enabled 
Hildebrand to marry the noble Ute (Uote or Uta), who helped him 
to bring up Dietrich's young brother, then but a babe. 

Although the young prince of Bern imagined that he had ex- 
terminated all the giants in his land, he was soon undeceived; 
for Sigenot, Grim's brother, coming down from the Alps to visit 
him, and finding him slain, vowed to avenge his death. The 
brave young prince, hearing that Sigenot was terrorizing all the 
neighborhood, immediately set out to attack him, followed at a 
distance by Hildebrand and the latter's nephew, Wolfhart, who 
was always ready to undertake any jotu-ney, provided there was 
some prospect of a fight at the end. 

Dietrich soon came to a forest, where, feeling hungry, he slew 
an elk and proceeded to roast some of its flesh upon a spit. 
While he was thus engaged he heard shrill cries, and looking up, 
he saw a giant holding a dwarf and about to devour him. Ever 
ready to succor the feeble and oppressed, Dietrich caught up his 
swOrd and attacked the giant, who made a brave but fruitless 
defense. The dwarf, seeing his tormentor dead, then advised 
Dietrich to fly in haste, lest Sigenot, the most terrible of all the 
mountain giants, should come to avenge his companion's mur- 
der. But, instead of following this advice, Dietrich persuaded 
the dwarf to show him the way to the giant's retreat. 

Following his tiny guide, Dietrich cHmbed up the snow-clad 
mountains, where^ in the midst of the icebergs, the ice queen. 
Capture of Die- Virginal, suddenly appeared to him, advising him to 
trich by giant retreat, as his venture was perilous in the extreme, 
igenot. Equally undeterred by this second warning, Dietrich 
pressed on ; but when he came at last to the giant's abode he 
was so exhausted by the ascent that, in spite of all his courage, 
he was defeated, put in chains, and dragged into the giant's den. 

Hildebrand, in the mean while, following his pupil, awaited 

(liiiBHlBHUi^uaUliilUIULILlWiiJ^^^ 111 1 1 \\i UMMU lliiiii 

tOpp p 1J2 ) 



his return at the foot of the mountains for eight days, and then, 
seeing that he did not appear, he strode up the mountain side. 
The giant encountered him, stunned him with a great blow, and 
dragged him into the den, where, thinking him senseless, he 
leisurely began to select chains with which to bind him fast. 
Hildebrand, however, sprang noiselessly to his feet, seized a 
weapon lying near, and stealing behind a pillar, which served 
him as a shield, he attacked Sigenot, and stretched him lifeless at 
his feet. 

A moment later he heard Dietrich calling him from the depths 
of the cave. To spring forward and free his pupil from his chains 
was the work of a moment, and then, following the Dietrich res- 
dwarf, who openly rejoiced at the death of his foe, cued by Hiide- 
the two heroes visited the underground kingdom. brand. 

There they were hospitably entertained, their wounds were healed, 
and the king of the dwarfs gave them the finest weapons that 
they had ever seen. 

While hunting in the Tyrolean mountains shortly after this en- 
counter, Dietrich confided to Hildebrand that he had fallen in 
love with the ice fairy, Virginal, and longed to see her again. 
This confidence was suddenly interrupted by the appearance of a 
dwarf, who presented himself as Bibung, the unconquerable pro- 
tector of Queen Virginal, but who in the same breath confessed 
that she had fallen into the hands of the magician Ortgis. The 
latter kept her imprisoned in one of her own castles, and at every 
new moon he forced her to surrender one of the snow maidens, 
her lovely attendants, whom he intended to devour as soon as 
they were properly fattened. 

Dietrich's eyes flashed with anger when he heard of his lady- 
love's distress, and bidding the dwarf show him the way, he forth- 
with set out to rescue her. They had not gone very far before 
they beheld the ice queen's palace glittering far above their heads ; 
and as they eagerly climbed upward to reach it, they heard cries 
of terror, and saw a beautiful girl rush down the pathway, closely 
pursued by the magician and his mounted train. 


Dietrich allowed the maiden to pass him, and then stepped 
boldly into the middle of the path, where he and Hildebrand 
Magician Ortgis soon succeeded in slaying the magician and all his 
slain. jjien. Jambas, the son of Ortgis, alone effected 

his escape ; but Dietrich and his master closely pursued him, took 
forcible possession of his castle, set the captive snow maidens 
free, and fearlessly slew all the monsters which Jambas conjured 
up to destroy them. Then, resuming their interrupted journey, 
Dietrich and Hildebrand soon came face to face with the self- 
styled unconquerable guardian of the ice queen. He had been 
hiding during the fray, and now implored them to hasten forward, 
as his mistress was besieged by Jambas. The magician's son was 
anxious to secure Virginal and all her maidens, but his principal 
aim was to appropriate the great carbuncle shining in the queen's 
crown, as it gave the possessor full power over the elements, the 
mountains, and all who ventured within reach of them. 

Thus urged to greater speed, the heroes toiled upward faster 
and faster, and soon came near the glittering castle of Jeraspunt, 
and the besiegers. The latter were on the point of overpower- 
ing the garrison and gaining possession of the queen. When 
Dietrich saw her on the battlement, wringing her hands in de- 
spair, he rushed impetuously forward, crying that he had come 
to save her. He struck right and left, and did such good exe- 
cution with his sword that the mountains shook, the icebergs 
cracked, and great avalanches, rolling down into the abysses, 
carried with them the bodies of the slain which he hurled down 
from the drawbridge. 

In a very short time the enemy was completely routed, and 

Dietrich was joyfully welcomed by Virginal, who, touched by his 

Rescue of the devotion, consented to forsake her glittering castle, 

ice queen. j-q relinquish her sway over the mountains, and to 
follow him down into the green valley. Their wedding was cele- 
brated in Jeraspunt, which was all hung in bridal white ; and the 
ice queen and her maidens wore misty veils and crowns of glitter- 
ing diamonds, which sparkled and flashed and lit up the whole 


scene with fairylike splendor. Some versions of the story tell, 
however, that the queen soon grew homesick down in the green 
valley, and, deserting her hero husband, returned to her palace 
on the mountain top, where she still rules supreme. 

Dietrich's numerous adventures soon became the theme of the 
wandering bards and minstrels, and thus the rumor of his courage 
came to the ears of Heime, the son of the northern stud keeper 
Studas. After distinguishing himself at home by slaying a dragon, 
this youth obtained from his father the steed Rispa and the sword 
Blutgang, with which he set out to test Dietrich's courage, vow- 
ing that he would serve him forever if conquered by him. 

" King Tidrick sits in till Bern ; 

He rooses [boasts] him of his might; 
Sae mony has he in battle cow'd, 
Baith kemp [rough] and doughty knight." 

The Eiiin Langshanks (Jamieson's tr.). 

Heime soon reached Bern, boldly challenged Dietrich, and when 
defeated entered his service, after procuring for his master's ex- 
clusive use the matchless steed Falke, which could carry even such 
a gigantic man as Dietrich without showing any signs of fatigue, 
and which served him faithfully for many a year. 

The rumor of Dietrich's courage also came to Heligoland, 
where Wieland (Wayland, or Volund), the smith, dwelt with his 
sonWittich(Witig). The latter, determined to cross 

\ ^' _ Wittich. 

swords with the hero of Bern, persuaded his father 
to give him the celebrated sword Mimung, by the help of which 
he hoped to overcome every foe. Wieland also fashioned a com- 
plete suit of armor for his son, gave him much good advice, and 
parted from him, bidding him to prove himself worthy of his an- 
cestors, and to call upon his grandmother, the mermaid Wachilde, 
if he were ever in great distress. 

Thus instructed Wittich departed, and on the way to Bern fell 
in with Hildebrand, Heime, and Hornbogi, another of Dietrich's 
noted warriors. They concealed their names, encouraged the 


Stranger to talk, and soon learned where he was going and on 
what errand. Master Hildebrand, hearing of the magic sword, 
and anxious to preserve his pupil from its blows, allowed Wittich 
to fight single-handed against twelve robbers in a mountain pass. 
As the youth disposed of them all without receiving a scratch, 
Hildebrand substituted his own sword blade for that which Wit- 
tich bore, one night while the latter was peacefully sleeping at an 
inn. This exchange remained unnoticed until Wittich arrived in 
Bern. There, while fighting with Dietrich, the blade suddenly 
snapped in two. 

Loudly reproaching his father, Wieland, for having provided him 
with such an unreliable weapon, Wittich was about to announce 
himself conquered, when Hildebrand, reaUzing that he had not 
acted honorably, gave him back his own blade. Dietrich, to his 
surprise and dismay, found himself conquered in this second en- 
counter, and was forced to acknowledge that he owed his life only 
to Wittich's magnanimity. But the northern hero soon confessed 
in his turn that had it not been for his magic sword he would 
have been obHged to yield to Dietrich, and voluntarily offered 
his services to him, thus becoming one of his train. 

" Sae gladly rode they back to Bern; 
But Tidrick maist was glad ; 
And Vidrich o' his menyie a' 
The foremost place aye had." 

The Eitin Langshanks CJamieson's tr.). 

Dietrich's next adventure, which is recorded in the " Eckenlied," 
was with the giant Ecke, who held Bolfriana, the widowed Lady 
of Drachenfels, and her nine daughters, in his power. The hero 
of Bern encountered the giant by night, and, in spite of his aver- 
sion to fighting at such a time, was compelled to defend himself 
against the giant's blows. He was about to succumb when his 
steed Falke, scenting his danger, broke loose from the tree to 
which it had been tied, and stamped Ecke to death. 

Dietrich now rode on to Drachenfels, where he encountered 

t)lETkICH roJV BERK\ It^ 

Fasolt, Ecke's brother, and, after defeating him also, and deliver- 
ing the captive ladies, went back to Bern, where Fasolt joined his 
chosen warriors. Dietrich, moreover, delivered the knight Sin- 
tram from the jaws of a dragon, and made him one of his follow- 
ers. Then, having appropriated Ecke's sword, the great Eckesax, 
Dietrich was about to give Nagelring to Heime ; but hearing that 
the latter had stood idly by while Wittich fought single-handed 
against twelve robbers, he banished him from his presence, bidding 
him never return until he had atoned for his dishonorable conduct 
by some generous deed. 

Heime, incensed at this dismissal, sulkily withdrew to the Fal- 
ster wood on the banks of the Wisara (Weser), where he became 
chief of a body of brigands, ruthlessly spoiled travelers, and daily 
increased the hoard he was pihng up in one of his strongholds. 

But, although Dietrich thus lost one of his bravest warriors, his 
band was soon reenforced by Hildebrand's brother Ilsan, who, 
although a monk, was totally unfitted for a religious hfe, and 
greatly preferred fighting to praying. There also came to Bern 
Wildeber (Wild Boar), a man noted for his great strength. He 
owed this strength to a golden bracelet given him by a mermaid 
in order to recover her swan plumage, which he had secured. 

As Dietrich was once on his way to Romaburg (Rome), whither 
his uncle Ermenrich had invited him, he accepted the proffered 
service and escort of DietKeb the Dane. This war- oietiieb the 
rior, seeing that the emperor had forgotten to pro- Dane, 

vide for the entertainment of Dietrich's suite, pledged not only his 
own steed and weapons, but also his master's and Hildebrand's, 
leading a jolly life upon the proceeds. 

When the time of departure came, and Dietrich called for his 
steed, Dietlieb was forced to confess what he had done. The 
story came to Ermenrich's ears, and he felt called upon to pay the 
required sum to release his guest's weapons and steeds, but con- 
temptuously inquired whether Dietlieb were good at anything be- 
sides eating and drinking, wherein he evidently excelled. Enragfed 
by this taunt, Dietlieb challenged Ermenrich's champion warrior, 


Walther von Wasgenstein (Vosges), and beat him at spear and 
stone throwing. He next performed feats hitherto unheard of, 
and won such applause that Ermenrich not only paid all his debts, 
but also gave him a large sum of money, which this promising 
young spendthrift immediately expended in feasting all the men 
at arms. 

Dietlieb's jests and jollity so amused Isung, the imperial min- 
strel, that he left court to follow him to the land of the Huns, 
where the fickle youth next offered his services to Etzel (Attila). 
The King of the Huns, afraid to keep such a mercurial person 
near him, gave him the province of Steiermark (Styria), bidding 
him work off all surplus energy by defending it against the numer- 
ous enemies always trying to enter his realm. 

Some time after this, Dietlieb returned to his old master in sor- 
row, for his only sister, Kunhild (Similde, or Similt), had been 

The dwarf Carried away by Laurin (Alberich), king of the 
Laurin. dwarfs, and was now detained prisoner in the Tyro- 
lean mountains, not far from the vaunted Rose Garden. This 
place was surrounded by a silken thread, and guarded most 
jealously by Laurin himself, who exacted the left foot and right 
hand of any knight venturing to enter his garden or break off a 
single flower from its stem. 

As soon as Dietrich heard this, he promised to set out and res- 
cue the fair Kunhild. He was accompanied by Dietlieb, Hilde- 
brand, Wittich, and Wolfhart ; and as they came to the Rose Gar- 
den, all the heroes except Dietrich and Hildebrand began to 
trample the dainty blossoms, and tried to break the silken cord. 

"Wittich, the mighty champion, trod the roses to the ground. 
Broke down the gates, and ravaged the garden far renowned ; 
Gone was the portals' splendor, by the heroes bold destroyed ; 
The fragrance of the flowers was past, and all the garden's pride. " 

Heldenbuck (Weber's tr.). 

While they were thus employed, the dwarf Laurin donned his 
glittering girdle of power, which gave him the strength of twelve 


men, brandished a sword which had been tempered in dragons' 
blood and could therefore cut through iron and stone, and put 
on his ring of victory and the magic cap of darkness, Tarnkappe 

Dietrich, carefully instructed by Hildebrand, struck off this cap, 
and appropriated it, as well as the girdle of strength and the ring 
of victory. He was so angry against Laruin for resisting him 
that the dwarf king soon fled to Dietlieb for protection, promis- 
ing to restore Kunhild, unless she preferred to remain with him 
as his wife. 

This amicable agreement having been made, Laurin led the 
knights down into his subterranean palace, which was illuminated 
by carbuncles, diamonds, and other precious stones. Here Kun- 
hild and her attendant maidens, attired with the utmost magnifi- 
cence, welcomed them hospitably and presided at the banquet. 

"Similt into the palace came, with her little maidens all; 
Garments they wore which glittered brightly in the hall. 
Of fur and costly ciclatoun, and brooches of the gold ; 
No richer guise in royal courts might mortal man behold." 

Heldenhuch (Weber's tr.). 

The wines, however, were drugged, so the brave knights soon 
sank into a stupor ;• and Laurin, taking a base advantage of their 
helplessness, deprived them of their weapons, bound them fast, 
and had them conveyed into a large prison. Dietlieb was placed 
in a chamber apart, where, as soon as he recovered his senses, 
Laurin told him that he and his companions were doomed to die 
on the morrow. 

At midnight Dietrich awoke. Feeling himself bound, his wrath 
burned hot within him, and his breath grew so fiery that it con- 
sumed the ropes with which he was pinioned. He then re- 
leased his captive companions, and, while they were bewaihng 
their lack of weapons, Kunhild stealthily opened the door. Noise- 
lessly she conducted them into the great hall, bade them resume 
possession of their arms, and gave each a golden ring, of dwarf 


manufacture, to enable them to see their tiny foes, who were else 
invisible to all of mortal birth. 

Joined by Dietlieb, who had also been liberated by Kunhild, 
the knights now roused Laurin and his host of giants and dwarfs, 
and, after an encounter such as mediaeval poets love to describe 
at great length, routed them completely. Laurin was made pris- 
oner and carried in chains to Bern, where Kunhild, now full of 
compassion for him, prevailed upon Dietrich to set him free, pro- 
vided he would forswear all his malicious propensities and spend 
the remainder of his life in doing good. 

When this promise had been given, Laurin was set free ; and 
after marrying Kunhild, he went to live with her in the beautiful 
Rose Garden and the underground palace, which peasants and 
simple-hearted Alpine hunters have often seen, but which the 
worldly wise and skeptical have always sought in vain. 

The mere fact of his having come off victor in one Rose Gar- 
den affair made Dietrich hail with joy the tidings brought by a 
Rose Garden Wandering minstrel, that at Worms, on the Rhine, 

at Worms. Kriemhild (Grimhild, Gutrun, etc.), the Burgundian 
princess, had a similar garden. This was guarded by twelve 
brave knights, ever ready to try their skill against an equal num- 
ber of warriors, the prize of the victor being a rose garland and 
kisses from the owner of this charming retreat. 

Eager to accept this challenge, Dietrich selected Hildebrand, 
Wittich, Wolfhart, and five other brave men ; but as he could think 
of no others worthy to share in the adventure, Hildebrand sug- 
gested that Rudiger of Bechlaren, Dietlieb of Steiermark, and his 
own brother, the monk Ilsan, would be only too glad to help them. 
This litde band soon rode into Worms, where Dietrich and his 
men covered themselves with glory by defeating all Kriemhild's 
champions, and winning the rose gariands as well as the kisses. 

The knights, if we are to believe the ancient poem, appreciated 
the latter reward highly, with the exception of the rude monk Ilsan, 
who, we are told, scrubbed the princess's delicate cheek with his 
rough beard until the blood flowed. 


" And when Chrimhild, the queen, gave him kisses fifty-two, 
With his rough and grisly beard full sore he made her rue. 
That from her lovely cheek 'gan flow the rosy blood : 
The queen was full of sorrow, but the monk it thought him good." 

Heldeniuch (Weber's tr.). 

Then Ilsan carried his garlands back to the monastery, where 
he jammed them down upon the monks' bald pates, laughing 
aloud when he saw them wince as the sharp thorns pierced them. 

On his way home Dietrich visited EtzeL King of the Huns, and 
further increased his train by accepting die services of Amalung, 
Hornbogi's son, and of Herbrand the wide-traveled. On his ar- 
rival at Bern, he found that his father, Dietmar, was dead, and 
thus Dietrich became King of the Amalingland (Italy). 

Shortly after his accession to the throne, he went to help Etzel, 
who was warring against Osantrix, King of die Wilkina land 
(Norway and Sweden). With none but his own campaign 
followers, Dietrich invaded the Wilkina land, and against the 

, , , , . • ij xT-ij i_ J Wilkina land. 

throughout that glorious campaign old Hildebrand 

rode ever ahead, bearing aloft his master's standard, and deahng 

many memorable blows. 

In one encounter, Wittich was thrown from his horse and 
stunned. Heime, who had joined the army, seeing him appar- 
ently lifeless, snatched the sword Mimung out of his nerveless 
grasp and bore it triumphantly away. Wittich, however, was 
not dead, but was soon after made prisoner by Hertnit, Earl of 
Greece, Osantrix's brother, who carried him back to the capital, 
where he put him in prison. 

When the campaign against the Wilkina men was ended, Die- 
trich and his army returned to Bern, leaving Wildeber in Hungary 
to ascertain whether Wittich were really dead, or whether he still 
required his companions' aid. 

Wishing to penetrate unrecognized into the enemy's camp, Wil- 
deber slew and flayed a bear, donned its skin over his armor, and, 
imitating the uncouth antics of the animal he personated, bade 
the minstrel Isung lead him thus disguised to Hertnit's court. 


This plan was carried out, and the minstrel and dancing bear 
were hailed with joy. But Isung was greatly dismayed when Hert- 
Wittich rescued nit insisted upon baiting his hunting hounds against 
byWiideber. ^^ \iQ&x, who, however, Strangled them all, one 
after another, without seeming to feel their sharp teeth. Hertnit 
was furious at the loss of all his pack, and sprang down into the 
pit with drawn sword; but all his blows glanced aside on the 
armor concealed beneath the rough pelt. Suddenly the pretended 
bear stood up, caught the weapon which the king had dropped, 
and struck off his head. Then, joining Isung, he rushed through 
the palace and delivered the captive Wittich ; whereupon, seizing 
swords and steeds on their way, they all three rode out of the city 
before they could be stopped. 

When they arrived in Bern they were warmly welcomed by 
Dietrich, who forced Heime to give the stolen Mimung back 
to its rightful owner. The brave warriors were not long allowed 
to remain inactive, however, for they were soon asked to help 
Ermenrich against his revolted vassal, Rimstein. They besieged 
the recalcitrant knight in his stronghold of Gerimsburg, which 
was given to Walther von Wasgenstein, while Wittich was re- 
warded for his services by the hand of Bolfriana, the Lady of 
Drachenfels, and thus became the vassal of Ermenrich. 

The estates of Ermenrich were so extensive and so difficult to 

govern that he was very glad indeed to secure as prime minister 

a capable nobleman by the name of Sibich. Un- 

Sibich. ■' 

fortunately, this Sibich had a remarkably beautiful 
wife, whom the emperor once insulted during her husband's 
absence. As soon as Sibich returned from his journey his wife 
told him all that had occurred, and the emperor's conduct so en- 
raged the minister that he vowed that he would take a terrible 

The better to accomplish his piurpose, Sibich concealed his 
resentment, and so artfully poisoned Ermenrich's mind that the 
latter ordered his eldest son to be slain. To get rid of the second 
prince, Sibich induced him to enter a leaky vessel, which sank as 


soon as he was out at sea. Then, when the prime minister saw 
the third son, Randwer, paying innocent attentions to his fair 
young stepmother, Swanhild, daughter of Siegfried and Kriem- 
hild, he so mahciously distorted the affair that Ermenrich ordered 
this son to be hung, and his young wife to be trampled to death 
under the hoofs of wild horses. 

Sibich, the traitor, having thus deprived the emperor of wife 
and children, next resolved to rob him of all his kin, so that he 
might eventually murder him and take undisputed possession of 
the empire. With this purpose in view, he forged letters which 
incited the emperor to war against his nephews, the Harlungs. 
These two young men, who were orphans, dwelt at Breisach, 
under the guardianship of their tutor, the faithful Eckhardt. They 
were both cruelly slain, and the disconsolate tutor fled to the 
court of Dietrich, little thinking that Ermenrich would soon turn 
upon this his last male relative, also. 

Dietrich, forsaken by Virginal, and anxious to marry again, had, 
in the mean while, sent his nephew Herbart to Arthur's court in 
the Bertanga land (Britain), to sue for the hand Herbart and 
of Hilde, his fair young daughter. But Arthur, Hiide. 

averse to sending his child so far away, would not at first permit 
the young ambassador to catch a ghmpse of her face, and sent her 
to church guarded by ten warriors, ten monks, and ten duennas. 

In spite of all these safeguards, Herbart succeeded in seeing 
the princess, and after ascertaining that she was very beautiful, 
he secured a private interview, and told her of his master's wish 
to call her wife. Hilde, wishing to know what kind of a man 
her suitor was, begged Herbart to draw his portrait ; but finding 
him unprepossessing, she encouraged Herbart to declare his own 
love, and soon eloped with him. 

Dietrich had no time to mourn for the loss of this expected 
bride, however, for the imperial army suddenly Dietrich in 
marched into the Amaling land, and invested the ='''•=• 

cities of Garden, Milan, Raben (Ravenna), and Mantua. Of 
course these successes were owing to treachery, and not to valor. 


and Dietrich, to obtain the release of Hildebrand and a few 
other faithful followers, who had fallen into the enemy's hands, 
was forced to surrender Bern and go off into exile. 

As he had thus sacrificed his kingdom to obtain their freedom, 
it is no wonder that these men proudly accompanied him into 
banishment. They went to Susat, where they were warmly wel- 
comed by Etzel and Helche (Herka), his wife, who promised to 
care for Diether, Dietrich's brother, and have him brought up 
with her own sons. 

There were in those days many foreigners at Etzel's court, for 
he had secured as hostages Hagen of Tronje, from the Btu-gun- 
dians ; the Princess Hildegunde, from the Franks ; and Walther 
von Wasgenstein from the Duke of Aquitaine. 

During the twenty years which Dietrich now spent in the land 
of the Huns fighting for Etzel, peace was concluded with Bur- 

■Waither of S'^^'^Yj ^"'^ Hagen was allowed to return home. 
Aquitaine and Walther of Aquitaine (or von Wasgenstein), whose 

Hildegunde. , , , . 

adventures are related m a Latm poem of the eighth 
or ninth century, had fallen in love with Hildegunde. Seeing 
that Etzel, in spite of his promises to set them both free, had no 
real intention of doing so, he and his ladylove cleverly effected 
their escape, and fled to the Wasgenstein (Vosges), where they 
paused in a cave to recruit their exhausted strength. 

Gunther, King of Biu-gundy, and Hagen of Tronje, his ally, 
hearing that Walther and Hildegunde were in the neighborhood, 
and desirous of obtaining the large sum of gold which they had 
carried away from Etzel's court, set out to attack them, with a 
force of twelve picked men. But Hildegunde was watching 
while Walther slept, and, seeing them draw near, warned her 
lover. He, inspired by her presence, slew all except Gunther 
and Hagen, who beat a hasty retreat. 

They did not return to Worms, however, but lay in ambush 
beside the road, and when Walther and Hildegunde passed by 
they attacked the former with great fury. In spite of the odds 
against him, the poem relates that Walther triumphantly defeated 


them both, putting out one of Hagen's eyes and cutting off one 
of Gunther's hands and one of his feet. 

The conflict ended, Hildegunde bound up the wounds of all 
three of the combatants, who then sat down to share a meal 
together, indulged in much jocularity about their wounds, and, 
parting amicably, sought their respective homes. Walther and 
Hildegunde were next joyously welcomed by their relatives, duly 
married, and reigned together over Aquitaine for many a long 

In the mean while Dietrich had been engaged in warring 
against Waldemar, King of Reussen (Russia and Poland), in be- 
half of Etzel, who, however, forsook him in a cowardly way, and 
left him in a besieged fortress, in the midst of the enemy's land, 
with only a handful of men. In spite of all his courage, Dietrich 
would have been forced to surrender had not Riidiger of Bech- 
laren come to his rescue. By their combined efforts, Waldemar 
was slain, and his son was brought captive to Susat. 

Dietrich and his noble prisoner were both seriously wounded ; 
but while Queen Helche herself tenderly cared for the young 
prince of Reussen, who was her kinsman, Dietrich Dietrich and 
lay neglected and alone in a remote part of the Q"==n Heiche. 
palace. The young prince was no sooner cured, however, than 
he took advantage of Etzel's absence to escape, although Helche 
implored him not to do so, and assured him that she would have 
to pay for his absence with her life. 

In her distress Helche now thought of Dietrich, who, weak and 
wounded, rose from his couch, pursued the fugitive, overtook and 
slew him, and brought his head back to her. The Queen of the 
Huns never forgot that she owed her life to Dietrich, and ever 
after showed herself his faithful friend. 

Twenty years had passed since Dietrich left his native land ere 
he asked to return. Helche promised him the aid of her sons, Erp 
and Ortwine, whom she armed herself, and furnished one thou- 
sand men. Etzel, seeing this, also offered his aid, and Dietrich 
marched back to the Amahng land with all his companions, and 


with an army commanded by the two Hun princes and Riidiger's 
only son, Nudung. 

The van of the army took Garden and Padauwe (Padua), and 
with Dietrich at its head made a triumphant entrance into Bern. 
But, hearing that Ermenrich was coming against him, Dietrich 
now went to meet him, and fought a terrible battle near Raben 
in 493. The hero of Bern distinguished himself, as usual, in this 
fray, until, hearing that Nudung, the two Hun princes, and his 
young brother, Diether, had all been slain, he became almost in- 
sane with grief. 

In his fury he wildly pursued Wittich, his former servant and 
Diether's murderer, and would have slain him had the latter not 
saved himself by plunging into the sea. Here his ancestress, the 
swan maiden Wachilde, took charge of him, and conveyed him 
to a place of safety. Then, although victorious, Dietrich dis- 
covered that he had no longer enough men left to maintain him- 
self in his reconquered kingdom, and mournfully returned to Susat 
with the bodies of the slain. 

It was during his second sojourn at the court of the Huns that 

Dietrich married Herrat (Herand), Princess of Transylvania, a 

Marriage of relative of Helche. The latter died soon after their 

Dietrich and union. Three years later Etzel married Kriem- 

hild, Siegfried's widow; and now occurred the 

fall of the brave Nibelung knights, recorded in the "Nibelun- 

genlied." Dietrich, as we have seen, took an active part in the 

closing act of this tragedy, and joined in the final lament over 

the bodies of the slain. 

Ten years after the terrible battle of Raben, Dietrich again re- 
solved to make an attempt to recover his kingdom, and set out 
with only a very few followers. As Ermenrich had succumbed, 
either under the swords of Swanhild's brothers, as already re- 
lated, or by the poison secretly administered by the traitor Sibich, 
the crown was now offered to Dietrich, who was glad to accept it. 

All the lost cities were gradually recovered, and Hildebrand, 
coming to Garden, encountered his son Hadubrand (Alebrand), 


who, having grown up during his absence, did not recognize him, 
and challenged him to fight. Mighty blows were exchanged be- 
tween father and son, each of whom, in the pauses of the combat, 
anxiously besought the other to reveal his name. It was only 
when their strength was exhausted that Hadubrand revealed 
who he was, and father and son, dropping their bloody swords, 
embraced with tears. 

" So spake Hadubrand, 
Son of Hildebrand : 
' Said unto me 
Some of our people, 
Shrewd and old, 
Gone hence already. 

That Hildebrand was my father called, — 
I am called Hadubrand. 
Erewhile he eastward went, 
Escaping from Odoaker, 
Thither with Theodoric 
And his many men of battle. 
Here he left in the land, 
Lorn and lonely, 
Bride in bower, 
Bairn ungrown, 
Having no heritage.' " 

Song of Hildebrand (Bayard Taylor's tr.). 

Hildebrand then rejoined his wife, Ute, and Dietrich, having 
slain the traitor Sibich, who had made an attempt to usurp the 
throne, marched on to Romaburg (Rome), where he was crowned 
Emperor of the West, under the name of Theodoric. Some time 
after his accession, Dietrich lost his good wife Herrat, whom, 
according to some accounts, he mourned as long as he lived. 
According to others he married again, taking as wife Liebgart, 
widow of Ortnit. 

Etzel, according to this version, having been lured by Aldrian, 
Hagen's son, into the cave where the Nibelungen hoard was kept, 
was locked up there, and died of hunger while contemplating the 


gold he coveted. His estates then became the property of Die- 
trich, who thus became undisputed ruler of nearly all the southern 
part of Europe. 

In his old age Dietrich, weary of life and imbittered by its 
many trials, ceased to take plea&ure in anything except the chase. 

D- t • h d *-*'^^ ^^^' '^^'^^ ^^ ^^^ bathing in a limpid stream, 

the coal-black his servant came to tell him that there was a fine 

stag in sight. Dietrich immediately called for his 

horse, and as it was not instantly forthcoming, he sprang upon a 

coal-black steed standing near, and was borne rapidly away. 

The servant rode after as fast as possible, but could never 
overtake Dietrich, who, the peasants aver, was spirited away, and 
now leads the Wild Hunt upon the same sable steed, which he 
is doomed to ride until the judgment day. 

In spite of this fabulous account, however, the tomb of Theo- 
doric is still to be seen near Verona, but history demonstrates the 
impossibihty of the story of Dietrich von Bern, by proving that 
Theodoric was not born until after the death of Attila, the un- 
mistakeable original of the Etzel in the " Heldenbuch." 



One of the favorite heroes of early mediaeval literature is 
Charlemagne, whose name is connected with countless romantic 
legends of more or less antique origin. The son of Pepin and 
Bertha the " large footed," this monarch took up his abode near 
the Rhine to repress the invasions of the northern barbarians, 
awe them into submission, and gradually induce them to accept 
the teachings of the missionaries he sent to convert them. 

As Charlemagne destroyed the Irminsul, razed heathen tem- 
ples and groves, abolished the Odinic and Druidic forms of wor- 
ship, conquered the Lombards at the request of The champion 
the Pope, and defeated the Saracens in Spain, he °^ Christianity, 
naturally became the champion of Christianity in the chronicles 
of his day. All the heroic actions of his predecessors (such as 
Charles Martel) were soon attributed to him, and when these 
legends were turned into popular epics, in the tenth and eleventh 
centuries, he became the principal hero of France. The great 
deeds of his paladins, Roland, Oliver, Ogier the Dane, Renaud 
de Montauban, and others, also became the favorite theme of 
the poets, and were soon translated into every European tongue. 

The Latin chronicle, falsely attributed to Bishop Turpin, Charle- 
magne's prime minister, but dating from 1095, is one of the oldest 
versions of Charlemagne's fabulous adventures now extant. It 
contains the mythical account of the battle of Roncesvalles (Vale 
of Thorns), told with infinite repetition and detail so as to give 
it an appearance of reality. 

9 129 


Einhard, the son-in-law and historian of Charlemagne, records a 
partial defeat in the Pyrenees in 111-11^, and adds that Hroud- 

Chanson de landus was slain. From this bald statement arose 
Roland. tjjg mediasval " Chanson de Roland," which was 
still sung at the battle of Hastings. The probable author of the 
French metrical version is Turoldus ; but the poem, numbering 
originally four thousand lines, has gradually been lengthened, 
until now it includes more than forty thousand. There are early 
French, Latin, German, Italian, Enghsh, and Icelandic versions 
of the adventures of Roland, which in the foxurteenth and fif- 
teenth centuries were turned into prose, and formed the basis of 
the " Romans de Chevalerie," which were popular for so many 
years. Numerous variations can, of course, be noted in these 
tales, which have been worked over again by the Italian poets 
Ariosto and Boiardo, and even treated by Buchanan in oiu' day. 

It would be impossible to give in this work a complete syn- 
opsis of all the chansons de gestes referring to Charlemagne and 
his paladins, so we will content ourselves with giving an abstract 
of the most noted ones and telling the legends which are found 
in them, which have gradually been woven around those famous 
names and connected with certain localities. 

We are told that Charlemagne, having built a beautiful new 
palace for his use, overlooking the Rhine, was roused from his 
Chariemaene ^^^^P during the first night he spent there by the 
and the heaven- touch of an angelic hand, and, to his utter surprise, 
thrice heard the heavenly messenger bid him go 
forth and steal. Not daring to disobey, Charlemagne stole un- 
noticed out of the palace, saddled his steed, and, armed cap-a- 
pie, started out to fulfill the angelic command. 

He had not gone far when he met an unknown knight, evi- 
dently bound on the same errand. To challenge, lay his lance 
in rest, charge, and unhorse his opponent, was an easy matter for 
Charlemagne. When he learned that he had disarmed Elbegast 
(Aiberich), the notorious highwayman, he promised to let him go 
free if he would only help him steal something that night. 


Guided by Elbegast, Charlemagne, still incognito, went to the 
castle of one of his ministers, and, thanks to Elbegast's cunning, 
penetrated unseen into his bedroom. There, crouching in the 
dark, Charlemagne overheard him confide to his wife a plot to 
murder the emperor on the morrow. Patiently biding his time 
until they were sound asleep, Charlemagne picked up a worthless 
trifle, and noiselessly made his way out, returning home unseen. 
On the morrow, profiting by the knowledge thus obtained, he 
cleverly outwitted the conspirators, whom he restored to favor only 
after they had solemnly sworn future loyalty. As for Elbegast, 
he so admired the only man who had ever succeeded in conquer- 
ing him that he renounced his dishonest profession to enter the 
emperor's service. 

In gratitude for the heavenly vision vouchsafed him, the em- 
peror named his new palace Ingelheim (Home of the Angel), a 
name which the place has borne ever since. This thieving epi- 
sode is often alluded to in the later romances of chivalry, where 
knights, called upon to justify their unlawful appropriation of an- 
other's goods, disrespectfully remind the emperor that he too once 
went about as a thief. 

When Charlemagne's third wife died, he married a beautiful 
Eastern princess by the name of Frastrada, who, aided by a magic 
ring, soon won his most devoted affection. The Frastrada's 
new queen, however, did not long enjoy her power, magic ring, 
for a dangerous illness overtook her. When at the point of death, 
fearful lest her ring should be worn by another while she was 
buried and forgotten, Frastrada slipped the magic circlet into h^r 
mouth just before she breathed her last. ' 

Solemn preparations were made to bury her in the cathedral 
of Mayence (where a stone bearing her name could still be seen a 
few years ago), but the emperor refused to part with the beloved 
body. Neglectful of all matters of state, he remained in the mor- 
tuary chamber day after day. His trusty adviser, Turpin, sus- 
pecting the presence of some mysterious talisman, slipped into 
the room while the emperor, exhausted with fasting and weeping, 


was wrapped in sleep. After carefully searching for the magic 
jewel, Turpin discovered it, at last, in the dead queen's mouth. 

" He searches with care, though with tremulous haste, 
For the spell that bewitches the king ; 
And under her tongue, for security placed, 
Its margin with mystical characters traced. 
At length he discovers a ring." 

SoUTHHy, Kzjig Charlemain, 

To secure this ring and slip it on his finger was but the affair 
of a moment ; but just as Turpin was about to leave the room the 
Turpin and the empcror awoke. With a shuddering glance at the 

magic ring, (jg^d queen, Charlemagne flung himself passion- 
ately upon the neck of his prime minister, declaring that he would 
never be quite inconsolable as long as he was near. 

Taking advantage of the power thus secured by the possession 
of the magic ring, Turpin led Charlemagne away, forced him to 
eat and drink, and after the funeral induced him to resume the 
reins of the government. But he soon wearied of his master's 
constant protestations of undying affection, and ardently longed 
to get rid of the ring, which, however, he dared neither to hide 
nor to give away, for fear it should fall into unscrupulous hands. 

Although advanced in years, Turpin was now forced to accom- 
pany Charlemagne everywhere, even on his hunting expeditions, 
and to share his tent. One moonlight night the unhappy minis- 
ter stole noiselessly out of the imperial tent, and wandered alone 
in the woods, cogitating how to dispose of the unlucky ring. As 
he walked thus he came to a glade in the forest, and saw a deep 
pool, on whose mirrorlike surface the moonbeams softly played. 
Suddenly the thought struck him that the waters would soon 
close over and conceal the magic ring forever in their depths; 
and, drawing it from his finger, he threw it into the pond. Tur- 
pin then retraced his steps, and soon fell asleep. On the morrow 
he was deUghted to perceive that the spell was broken, and that 
Charlemagne had returned to the old undemonstrative friendship 
which had bound them for many a year. 


" Overjoy'd, the good prelate remember'd the spell, 
And far in the lake flung the ring; 
The waters closed round it ; and, wondrous to tell. 
Released from the cursed enchantment of hell, 
His reason return'd to the king.'' 

SouTHEYj Kiftg Charlemain. 

Charlemagne, however, seemed unusually restless, and soon 
went out to hunt. In the course of the day, having lost sight of 
his suite in the pursuit of game, he came to the little glade, where, 
dismounting, he threw himself on the grass beside the pool, de- 
claring that he would fain linger there forever. The spot was so 
charming that he even gave orders, ere he left it that night, that 
a palace should be erected there for his use ; and this building was 
the nucleus of his favorite capital, Aix-la-Chapelle (Aachen). 

" But he built him a palace there close by the bay. 
And there did he love to remain ; 
And the traveler who will, may behold at this day 
A monument still in the ruins at Aix 
Of the spell that possess'd Charlemain." 

SouTHEY, King Charlemain. 

According to tradition, Charlemagne had a sister by the name 
of Bertha, who, against his will, married the brave young knight 
Milon. Rejected by the emperor, and therefore scorned by all, 
the young couple lived in obsciu-ity and poverty. They were very 
happy, however, for they loved each other dearly, and rejoiced 
in the beauty of their infant son Roland, who even in babyhood 
showed signs of uncommon courage and vigor. 

One version of the story relates, however, that Milon perished 
in a flood, and that Bertha was almost dying of hunger while her 
brother, a short distance away, was entertaining all Charlemagne 
his courtiers at his board. Little Roland, touched and the boy 

. , Roland. 

by his mother's condition, walked fearlessly into the 

banquet hall, boldly advanced to the table, and carried away a 

dishful of meat. As the emperor seemed amused at the little lad's 


fearlessness, the servants did not dare to interfere, and Roland 
bore off the dish in triumph. 

A few minutes later he reentered the hall, and with equal cool- 
ness laid hands upon the emperor's cup, full of rich wine. Chal- 
lenged by Charlemagne, the child then boldly declared that he 
wanted the meat and wine for his mother, a lady of high degree. 
In answer to the emperor's bantering questions, he declared that 
he was his mother's cupbearer, her page, and her gallant knight, 
which answers so amused Charlemagne that he sent for her. He 
then remorsefully recognized her, treated her with kindness as 
long as she lived, and took her son into his own service. 

Another legend relates that Charlemagne, hearing that the rob- 
ber knight of the Ardennes had a priceless jewel set in his shield, 
called all his bravest noblemen together, and bade them sally 
forth separately, with only a page as escort, in quest of the knight. 
Once found, they were to challenge him in true knightly fashion, 
and at the point of the lance win the jewel he wore. A day was 
appointed when, successful or not, the courtiers were to return, 
and, beginning with the lowest in rank, were to give a truthful 
account of their adventures while on the quest. 

All the knights departed and scoured the forest of the Ardennes, 
each hoping to meet the robber knight and win the jewel. Among 
them was Milon, accompanied by his son Roland, a lad of fifteen, 
whom he had taken as page and armor-bearer. Milon had spent 
many days in vain search for the knight, when, exhausted by his 
long ride, he dismounted, removed his heavy armor, and lay down 
under a tree to sleep, bidding Roland keep close watch during his 

Roland watched faithfully for a while ; then, fired by a desire 
to distinguish himself, he donned his father's armor, sprang on his 
Roland and the Steed, and rode into the forest in search of adven- 
jewei. tures. He had not gone very far when he saw a 

gigantic horseman coming to meet him, and, by the dazzling glit- 
ter of a large stone set in his shield, he recognized in him the in- 
vincible knight of the Ardennes. Afraid of nothing, however, the 


lad laid his lance in rest when challenged to fight, and charged so 
bravely that he unhorsed the knight. A fearful battle on foot en- 
sued, where many gallant blows were given and received ; yet the 
victory finally remained with Roland. He slew his adversary, and 
wrenching the jewel from his shield, hid it in his breast. Then, 
riding rapidly back to his sleeping father, Roland laid aside the 
armor, and removed all traces of a bloody encounter. When Milon 
awoke he resumed the quest, and soon came upon the body of the 
dead knight. When he saw that another had won the jewel, he 
was disappointed indeed, and sadly rode back to court, to be pres- 
ent on the appointed day. 

Charlemagne, seated on his throne, bade the knights appear be- 
fore him, and relate their adventures. One after another strode 
up the hall, followed by an armor-bearer holding his shield, and 
all told of finding the knight slain and the jewel gone, and pro- 
duced head, hands, feet, or some part of his armor, in token of the 
truth of their story. Last of all came Milon, with lowering brows, 
although Roland walked close behind him, proudly holding his 
shield, in the center of which the jewel shone radiant. Milon 
related his search, and reported that he too had found the giant 
knight slain and the jewel gone. A shout of incredulity made him 
turn his head. But when he saw the jewel blazing on his shield 
he appeared so amazed that Charlemagne questioned Roland, and 
soon learned how it had been obtained. In reward for his brav- 
ery in this encounter, Roland was knighted and allowed to take 
his place among his uncle's paladins, of which he soon became 
the most renowned. 

Charlemagne, according to the old chanson de geste entitled 
" Ogier le Danois," made war against the King of Denmark, de- 
feated him, and received his son Ogier (Olger or Holger Danske) 
as hostage. The young Danish prince was favored by the fairies 
from the time of his birth, six of them having appeared to bring 
him gifts while he was in his cradle. The first five promised him 
every earthly bhss ; while the sixth, Morgana, foretold that he would 
never die, but would dwell with her in Avalon, 


Ogier the Dane, owing to a violation of the treaty on his 
father's part, was soon confined in the prison of St. Omer. 
Ogier king of There he beguiled the weariness of captivity by fall- 
Denmark, iug in love with, and secretly marrying, the gover- 
nor's daughter Bellissande. Charlemagne, being about to depart 
for war, and wishing for the hero's help, released him from cap- 
tivity ; and when Ogier returned again to France he heard that 
Bellissande had borne him a son, and that, his father having died, 
he was now the lawful king of Denmark. 

Ogier the Dane then obtained permission to return to his native 
land, where he spent several years, reigning so wisely that he was 
adored by all his subjects. Such is the admiration of the Danes 
for this hero that the common people still declare that he is either 
in Avalon, or sleeping in the vaults of Elsinore, and that he will 
awaken, like Frederick Barbarossa, to save his country in the time 
of its direst need. 

" ' Thou know'st it, peasant ! I am not dead ; 
I come back to thee in my glory. 
I am thy faithful helper in need. 
As in Denmark's ancient story.' " 

Ingemann, Holger Danske. 

After some years spent in Denmark, Ogier returned to France, 
where his son, now grown up, had a dispute with Prince Chariot 
Ogier and Char- over a game of chess. The dispute became so bit- 

lemagne. ^er that the prince used the chessboard as weapon, 
and killed his antagonist with it. Ogier, indignant at the murder, 
and unable to find redress at the hands of Charlemagne, insulted 
him grossly, and fled to Didier (Desiderius), King of Lombardy, 
with whom the Franks were then at feud. 

Several ancient poems represent Didier on his tower, anxiously 
watching the approach of the enemy, and questioning his guest as 
to the personal appearance of Charlemagne. These poems have 
been imitated by Longfellow in one of his " Tales of a Wayside 


" Olger the Dane, and Desiderio, 
King of the Lombards, on a lofty tower 
Stood gazing northward o'er the rolling plains, 
League after league of harvests, to the foot 
Of the snow-crested Alps, and saw approach 
A mighty army, thronging all the roads 
That led into the city. And the King 
Said unto Olger, who had passed his youth 
As hostage at the court of France, and knew 
The Emperor's form and face, ' Is Charlemagne 
Among that host ? ' And Olger answered, ' No. ' " 

Longfellow, Tales of a Wayside Inn. 

This poet, who has madp this part of the legend familiar to 
all English readers, then describes the vanguard of the army, the 
paladins, the clergy, all in full panoply, and the gradually increas- 
ing terror of the Lombard king, who, long before the emperor's 
approach, would fain have hidden himself underground. Finally 
Charlemagne appears in iron mail, brandishing aloft his invinci- 
ble sword " Joyeuse," and escorted by the main body of his army, 
grim fighting men, at the mere sight of whom even Ogier the 
Dane is struck with fear. 

" This at a single glance Olger the Dane 
Saw from the tower ; and, turning to the King, 
Exclaimed in haste : ' Behold ! this is the man 
You looked for with such eagerness ! ' and then 
Fell as one dead at Desiderio's feet." 

Longfellow, Taies of a Wayside Inn. 

Charlemagne soon overpowered the Lombard king, and as- 
sumed the iron crown, while Ogier escaped from the castle in 
which he was besieged. Shortly after, however, when asleep near 
a fountain, the Danish hero was surprised by Turpin. When led 
before Charlemagne, he obstinately refused all proffers of recon- 
ciliation, and insisted upon Chariot's death, until an angel from 
heaven forbade his asking the life of Charlemagne's son. Then, 
foregoing his revenge and fully reinstated in the royal good graces, 


Ogier, according to a thirteenth-century epic by Adenet, success- 
fully encountered a Saracenic giant, and in reward for his ser- 
vices received the hand of Clarice, Princess of England, and be- 
came king of that realm. 

Weary of a peaceful existence, Ogier finally left England, and 
journeyed to the East, where he successfully besieged Acre, Baby- 
Ogier in the lon, and Jerusalem. On his way back to France, 
East. the ship was attracted by the famous lodestone rock 

which appears in many mediaeval romances, and, all his compan- 
ions having perished, Ogier wandered alone ashore. There he 
came to an adamantine castle, invisible by day, but radiant at 
night, where he was received by the famous horse Papillon, and 
sumptuously entertained. On the morrow, while wandering across 
a flowery meadow, Ogier encountered Morgana the fay, who gave 
him a magic ring. Although Ogier was then a hundred years 
old, he no sooner put it on than he became young once more. 
Then, having donned the golden crown of oblivion, he forgot his 
home, and joined Arthur, Oberon, Tristan, and Lancelot, with 
whom he spent two hundred years in unchanged youth, enjoying 
constant jousting and fighting. 

At the end of that time, his crown having accidentally dropped 
off, Ogier remembered the past, and returned to France, riding 
on Papillon. He reached the court during the reign of one of 
the Capetian kings. He was, of course, greatly amazed at the 
changes which had taken place, but bravely helped to defend Paris 
against an invasion from the Normans. 

Shortly after this, his magic ring was playfully drawn from his 
finger and put upon her own by the Countess of Senlis, who, see- 
Ogier carried to i^g that It restored her vanished youth, would fain 
Avaion. have kept it always. She therefore sent thirty cham- 
pions to wrest it from Ogier, who, however, defeated them all, 
and triumphantly retained his ring. The king having died, Ogier 
next married the widowed queen, and would thus have become 
King of France had not Morgana the fay, jealous of his affec- 
tions, spirited him away in the midst of the marriage ceremony 


and borne him off to the Isle of Avalon, whence he, like Arthur, 
will return only when his country needs him. 

Another chanson de geste, a sort of continuation of " Ogier le 
Danois," is called " Meurvin," and purports to give a faithful ac- 
count of the adventures of a son of Ogier and Mor- Roiand and 
gana, an ancestor of Godfrey of Bouillon, King Oliver, 
of Jerusalem. In " Gu6rin de Montglave," we find that Charle- 
magne, having quarreled with the Duke of Genoa, proposed that 
each should send a champion to fight in his name. Charlemagne 
selected Roland, while the Duke of Genoa chose Oliver as his 
defender. The battle, if we are to believe some versions of the 
legend, took place on an island in the Rhone, and Durandana, 
Roland's sword, struck many a spark from Altecler (Hautecler), 
the blade of Oliver. The two champions were so well matched, 
and the blows were dealt with such equal strength and courage, 
that " giving a Roland for an Oliver " has become a proverbial 

After fighting all day, with intermissions to interchange boasts 
and taunts, and to indulge in sundry discussions, neither had gained 
any advantage. They would probably have continued the strug- 
gle indefinitely, however, had not an angel of the Lord interfered, 
and bidden them embrace and become fast friends. It was on 
this occasion, we are told, that Charlemagne, fearing for Roland 
when he saw the strength of OUver, vowed a pilgrimage to Jeru- 
salem should his nephew escape alive. 

The fulfillment of this vow is described in " Galyen Rhetor^." 
Charlemagne and his peers reached Jerusalem safely in disguise, 
but their anxiety to secure relics soon betrayed their Charlemagne's 
identity. The King of Jerusalem, Hugues, enter- pilgrimage to 

. Jerusalem. 

tamed them sumptuously, and, hoping to hear many 
praises of his hospitality, concealed himself in their apartment at 
night. The eavesdropper, however, only heard the vain talk of 
Charlemagne's peers, who, unable to sleep, beguiled the hours in 
making extraordinary boasts. Roland declared that he could 
blow his horn Olivant loud enough to bring down the palace; 


Ogier, that he could crumble the principal pillar to dust in his 
grasp ; and Oliver, that he could marry the princess in spite of 
her father. 

The king, angry at hearing no praises of his wealth and hospi- 
tality, insisted upon his guests fulfilling their boasts on the mor- 
row, under penalty of death. He was satisfied, however, by the 
success of Oliver's undertaking, and the peers returned to France. 
Galyen, Oliver's son by Hugues's daughter, followed them thither 
when he reached manhood, and joined his father in the valley 
of Roncesvalles, just in time to receive his blessing ere he died. 
Then, having helped Charlemagne to avenge his peers, Galyen 
returned to Jerusalem, where he found his grandfather dead and 
his mother a captive. His first act was, of course, to free his 
mother, after which he became king of Jerusalem, and his adven- 
tures came to an end. 

The " Chronicle " of Turpin, whence the materials for many of 
the poems about Roland were taken, declares that Charlemagne, 
having conquered nearly the whole of Europe, retired to his pal- 
ace to seek repose. But one evening, while gazing at the stars, he 
saw a bright cluster move from the " Friesian sea, by way of Ger- 
many and France, into Galicia." This prodigy, twice repeated, 
greatly excited Charlemagne's wonder, and was explained to him 
by St. James in a vision. The latter declared that the progress 
of the stars was emblematic of the advance of the Christian army 
towards Spain, and twice bade the emperor deliver his land from 
the hands of the Saracens. 

Thus admonished, Charlemagne set out for Spain with a large 
army, and invested the city of Pamplona, which showed no signs 
Charlemagne in of Surrender at the end of a two months' siege. 
Spain. Recourse to prayer on the Christians' part, how- 
ever, produced a great miracle, for the walls tottered and fell like 
those of Jericho. All the Saracens who embraced Christianity 
were spared, but the remainder were slain before the emperor 
journeyed to the shrine of St. James at Santiago de Compostela 
to pay his devotions. 


A triumphant march through the country then ensued, and 
Charlemagne returned to France, thinking the Saracens subdued. 
He had scarcely crossed the border, however, when Aigolandus, 
one of the pagan monarchs, revolted, and soon recovered nearly 
all the territory his people had lost. When Chai-lemagne heard 
these tidings, he sent back an army, commanded by Milon, Ro- 
land's father, who perished gloriously in this campaign. The em- 
peror speedily followed his brother-in-law with great forces, and 
again besieged Aigolandus in Pamplona. During the course of 
the siege the two rulers had an interview, which is described at 
length, and indulged in sundry religious discussions, which, how- 
ever, culminated in a resumption of hostilities. Several combats 
now took place, in which the various heroes greatly distinguished 
themselves, the preference being generally given to Roland, who, 
if we are to beHeve the Italian poet, was as terrible in battle as 
he was gentle in time of peace. 

"On stubborn foes he vengeance wreak'd. 

And laid about him like a Tartar; 
But if for mercy once they squeak'd. 

He was the first to grant them quarter. 
The battle won, of Roland's soul 

Each milder virtue took possession ; 
To vanquish'd foes he o'er a bowl 

His heart surrender'd at discretion." 

Ariosto, Orlando Furioso (Dr. Bumey's tr.). 

Aigolandus being slain, and the feud against him thus success- 
fully ended, Charlemagne carried the war into Navarre, where he 
was challenged by the giant Ferracute (Ferragus) to meet him in 
single combat. Although the metrical " Romances " describe Char- 
lemagne as twenty feet in height, and declare that he slept in a 
hall, his bed surrounded by one hundred lighted tapers and one 
hundred knights with drawn swords, the emperor felt himself no 
match for the giant, whose personal appearance was as follows : — 

" So hard he was to-fond [proved]. 
That no dint of brond 


No grieved him, I plight. 

He had twenty men's strength; 

And forty feet of length 

Thilke [each] paynim had ; 

And four feet in the face 

Y-meten [measured] on the place ; 

And fifteen in brede [breadth]. 

His nose was a foot and more ; 

His brow as bristles wore ; 

(He that saw it said) 

He looked lothliche [loathly], 

And was swart [black] as pitch ; 

Of him men might adrede ! " 

Rolattd and Ferragus. 

After convincing himself of the danger of meeting this adver- 
sary, Charlemagne sent Ogier the Dane to fight him, and with 

Roland and dismay saw his champion not only unhorsed, but 

Ferracute. borne away like a parcel under the giant's arm, fum- 
ing and kicking with impotent rage. Renaud de Montauban met 
Ferracute on the next day, with the same fate, as did several other 
champions. Finally Roland took the field, and although the giant 
pulled him down from his horse, he continued the battle all day. 
Seeing that his sword Durandana had no effect upon Ferracute, 
Roland armed himself with a club on the morrow. 

In the pauses of the battle the combatants talked together, and 
Ferracute, relying upon his adversary's keen sense of honor, even 
laid his head upon Roland's knee during their noonday rest. 
While resting thus, he revealed that he was vulnerable in only 
one point of his body. When called upon by Roland to believe 
in Christianity, he declared that the doctrine of the Trinity was 
more than he could accept. Roland, in answer, demonstrated 
that an almond is but one fruit, although composed of rind, shell, 
and kernel ; that a harp is but one instrument, although it con- 
sists of wood, strings, and harmony. He also urged the three- 
fold nature of the sun, — i.e., heat, light, and splendor ; and these 
arguments having satisfied Ferracute concerning the Trinity, he 


removed his doubts concerning the incarnation by equally forci- 
ble reasoning. The giant, however, utterly refused to believe in 
the resurrection, although Roland, in support of his creed, quoted 
the mediseval belief that a lion's cubs are born into the world 
dead, but come to life on the third day at the sound of their 
father's roar, or under the warm breath of their mother. As Fer- 
racute would not accept this doctrine, but sprang to his feet pro- 
posing a continuation of the fight, the struggle was renewed. 

" Quath Ferragus : ' Now ich wot 
Your Christian law every grot ; 
Now we will fight ; 
Whether law better be. 
Soon we shall y-see, 
Long ere it be night.' " 

Roland atid Ferragus. 

Roland, weary with his previous efforts, almost succumbed be- 
neath the giant's blows, and in his distress had recourse to prayer. 
He was immediately strengthened and comforted by an angelic 
vision and a promise of victory. Thus encouraged, he dealt.Fer- 
racute a deadly blow in the vulnerable spot. The giant fell, call- 
ing upon Mohammed, while Roland laughed and the Christians 

The poem of Sir Otuel, in the Auchinleck manuscript, describes 
how Otuel, a nephew of Ferracute, his equal in size and strength, 
came to avenge his death, and, after a long battle with Roland, 
yielded to his theological arguments, and was converted at the 
sight of a snowy dove ahghting on Charlemagne's helmet in an- 
swer to prayer. He then became a devoted adherent of Charle- 
magne, and served him much in war. 

Charlemagne, having won Navarre, carried the war to the 
south of Spain, where the Saracens frightened the horses of his 
host by beating drums and waving banners. Having suffered 
a partial defeat on account of this device, Charlemagne had the 
horses' ears stopped with wax, and their eyes blindfolded, before he 
resumed the battle. Thanks to this precaution, he succeeded in 


conquering the Saracen army. The whole country had now been 
again subdued, and Charlemagne was preparing to return to 
France, when he remembered that MarsigUo (Marsihus), a Sara- 
cen king, was still intrenched at Saragossa. 

" Carle, our most noble Emperor and King, 
Hath tarried now full seven years in Spain, 
Conqu'ring the highland regions to the sea; 
No fortress stands before him unsubdued, 
Nor wall, nor city left, to be destroyed. 
Save Sarraguce, high on a mountain set. 
There rules the King Marsile, who loves not God, 
Apollo worships, and Mohammed serves ; 
Nor can he from his evil doom escape. " 

Chanson d£ Roland (Rabillon's tr.). 

The emperor wished to send an embassy to him to arrange the 
terms of peace, but discarded Roland's offer of service because 
Battle of of his impetuosity. Then, following the advice of 
RoncesvaUes. Naismes de Bavi^re, "the Nestor of the Carolingian 
legends," he selected Ganelon, Roland's stepfather, as ambassa- 
dor. This man was a traitor, and accepted a bribe from the Sara- 
cen king to betrajr Roland and the rear guard of the French army 
into his power. Advised by Ganelon, Charlemagne departed from 
Spain at the head of his army, leaving Roland to bring up the 
rear. The main part of the army passed through the Pyrenees 
unmolested, but the rear guard of twenty thousand men, under 
Roland, was attacked by a superior force of Saracens in ambush, 
as it was passing through the defiles of RoncesvaUes. A terrible 
encounter took place here. 

" The Count RoUand rides through the battlefield 
And makes, with Durendal's keen blade in hand, 
A mighty carnage of the Saracens. 
Ah ! had you then beheld the valiant Knight 
Heap corse on corse ; blood drenching all the ground ; 
His own arms, hauberk, all besmeared with gore. 
And his good steed from neck to shoulder bleed ! " 

Chanson de Roland (Rabillon's tr.). 

Wa' • •»»xgii.A 




All the Christians were slain except Roland and a few knights, 
who succeeded in repulsing the first onslaught of the painims. 
Rpland then bound a Saracen captive to a tree, wrung from him 
a confession of the dastardly plot, and, discovering where Marsig- 
lio was to be found, rushed into the very midst of the Saracen 
army and slew him. The Saracens, terrified at the apparition of 
the hero, beat a hasty retreat, little suspecting that their foe had 
received a mortal wound, and would shortly breathe his last. 

During the first part of the battle, Roland, yielding to Ohver's 
entreaty, sounded a blast on his horn Olivant, which came even 
to Charlemagne's ear. Fearing lest his nephew was calUng for 
aid, Charlemagne would fain have gone back had he not been 
deterred by Ganelon, who assured him that Roland was merely 
pursuing a stag. 

" RoUand raised to his lips the olifant, 
Drew a deep breath, and blew with all his force. 
High are the mountains, and from peak to peak 
The sound reechoes ; thirty leagues away 
'Twas heard by Carle and all his brave compeers. 
Cried the king : ' Our men make battle ! ' Ganelon 
Retorts in haste : ' If thus another dared 
To speak, we should denounce it as a lie.' 


Chanson de Roland (Rabillon's tr.). 

Wounded and faint, Roland now slowly dragged himself to the 
entrance of the pass of Cisaire,— where the Basque peasants aver 
they have often seen his ghost, and heard the sound steed 

of his horn,— and took leave of his faithful steed VeiUantif slain. 
Veillantif, which he slew with his own hand, to prevent its falling 
into the hands of the enemy. 

" ' Ah, nevermore, and nevermore, shall we to battle ride ! 
Ah, nevermore, and nevermore, shall we sweet comrades be ! 
And VeiUintif, had I the heart to die forgetting thee? 
To leave thy mighty heart to break, in slavery to the foe ? 


I had not rested in the grave, if it had ended so. 

Ah, never shall we conquering ride, with banners bright unfurl'd, 

A shining light 'mong lesser lights, a wonder to the world.' " 

Buchanan, Death of Roland. 

Then the hero gazed upon his sword Durandana, which had 

served him faithfully for so many years, and to prevent its falling 

Sword '"^'^'^ *^ hands of the pagans, he tried to dispose of 

Durandana it also. According to varying accounts, he either 

destroyed. ^^^ j^ ^j^gp jj^j.^ ^ poisoned Stream, where it is still 

supposed to lie, or, striking it against the mighty rocks, cleft them 

in two, without even dinting its bright blade. 

" And Roland thought : ' I surely die ; but, ere I end, 
Let me be sure that thou art ended too, my friend ! 
For should a heathen hand grasp thee when I am clay. 
My ghost would grieve full sore until the judgment day ! ' 
Then to the marble steps, under the tall, bare trees. 
Trailing the mighty sword, he crawl'd on hands and knees. 
And on the slimy stone he struck the blade with might — 
The bright hilt, sounding, shook, the blade flash'd sparks of Ught ; 
Wildly again he struck, and his sick head went round. 
Again there sparkled fire, again rang hollow sound ; 
Ten times he struck, and threw strange echoes down the glade. 
Yet still unbroken, sparkling fire, glitter'd the peerless blade." 

Buchanan, Death of Roland. ■ 

Finally, despairing of disposing of it in any other way, the hero, 
strong in death, broke Durandana in his powerful hands and threw 
the shards away. 

Horse and sword were now disposed of, and the dying hero, 
summoning his last strength, again put his marvelous horn Olivant 
to his lips, and blew such a resounding blast that the sound was 
heard far and near. The effort, however, was such that his tem- 
ples burst, as he again sank fainting to the ground. 

One version of the story (Turpin's) relates that the blast brought, 
not Charlemagne, but the sole surviving knight, Theodoricus, who, 
as Roland had been shriven before the battle, merely heard his 


last prayer and reverently closed his eyes. Then Turpin, while 
celebrating mass before Charlemagne, was suddenly favored by a 
vision, in which he beheld a shrieking crew of demons bearing 
Marsiglio's soul to hell, while an angelic host conveyed Roland's 
to heaven. 

Turpin immediately imparted these revelations to Charlemagne, 
who, knowing now that his fears were not without foundation, 
hastened back to Roncesvalles. Here the scriptural miracle was 
repeated, for the sun stayed its course until the emperor had 
routed the Saracens and found the body of his nephew. He 
pronounced a learned funeral discourse or lament over the hero's 
remains, which were then embalmed and conveyed to Blaive for 

Another version relates that Bishop Turpin himself remained 
with Roland in the rear, and, after hearing a general confession 
and granting full absolution to all the heroes, fought beside them 
to the end. It was he who heard the last blast of Roland's horn 
instead of Theodoricus, and came to close his eyes before he too 

The most celebrated of all the poems, however, the French 
epic " Chanson de Roland," gives a different version and relates 
that, in stumbling over the battlefield, Roland came across the 
body of his friend Oliver, over which he uttered a touching 

" ' Alas for all thy valor, comrade dear ! 
Year after year, day after day, a life 
Of love we led; ne'er didst thou wrong to me, 
Nor I to thee. If death takes thee away, 
My life is but a pain.' " 

Chanson de Roland (Rabillon's tr.). 

Slowly and painfully now— for his death was near— Roland 
climbed up a slope, laid himself down under a pine tree, and 
placed his sword and horn beneath him. Then, Death 
when he had breathed a last prayer, to commit his °^ Roland, 
soul to God, he held up his glove in token of his surrender. 


' ' His right hand glove he offered up to God ; 
Saint Gabriel took the glove. — With head reclined 
Upon his arm, with hands devoutly joined, 
He breathed his last. God sent his Cherubim, 
Saint Raphael, Saini Michiel del Peril. 
Together with them Gabriel came. — All bring 
The soul of Count RoUand to Paradise. 


chanson de Roland (Rabillon's tr.). 

It was here, under the pine, that Charlemagne found his 
nephew ere he started out to punish the Saracens, as already re- 
lated. Not far off lay the bodies of Ogier, Oliver, and Renaud, 
who, according to this version, were all among the slain. 

" Here endeth Otuel, Roland, and Olyvere, 
And of the twelve dussypere. 
That dieden in the batayle of Runcyvale : 
Jesu lord, heaven king, 
To his bliss hem and us both bring, 
To liven withouten bale ! " 

Sir Otuel. 

On his return to France Charlemagne suspected Ganelon of 
treachery, and had him tried by twelve peers, who, unable to decide 
the question, bade him prove his innocence in single combat with 
Roland's squire, Thiedric. Ganelon, taking advantage of the 
usual privilege to have his cause defended by a champion, 
selected Pinabel, the most famous swordsman of the time. In 
spite of all his valor, however, this champion was defeated, and 
the "judgment of God"— the term generally applied to those 
judicial combats — was in favor of Thiedric. Ganelon, thus con- 
victed of treason, was sentenced to be drawn and quartered, and 
was executed at Aix-la-Chapelle, in punishment for his sins. 

" Ere long for this he lost 
Both limb and life, judged and condemned at Aix, 
There to be hanged with thirty of his race 
Who were not spared the punishment of death. 


Chanson de Roland (Rabillon's tr.). 


Roland, having seen Aude, Oliver's sister, at the siege of Viane, 
where she even fought against him, if the old epics are to be be- 
lieved, had been so smitten with her charms that he RoUnd 
declared that he would marry none but her. When »"<> A""*'- 
the siege was over, and lifelong friendship had been sworn be- 
tween Roland and Oliver after their memorable duel on an island 
in the Rhone, Roland was pubUcly betrothed to the charming 
Aude. Before their nuptials could take place, however, he was 
forced to leave for Spain, where, as we have seen, he died an heroic 
death. The sad news of his demise was brought to Paris, where 
the Lady Aude was awaiting him. When she heard that he would 
never return, she died of grief, and was buried at his side in the 
chapel of Blaive. 

" In Paris Lady Alda sits, Sir Roland's destined bride. 
With her three hundred maidens, to tend her, at her side ; 
Alike their robes and sandals all, and the braid that binds their 

And alike the meal, in their Lady's hall, the whole three hundred 

Around her, in her chair of state, they all their places hold ; 
A hundred weave the web of silk, and a hundred spin the gold. 
And a hundred touch their gentle lutes to sooth that Lady's pain. 
As she thinks on him that's far away with the host of Charlemagne. 
Lulled by the sound, she sleeps, but soon she wakens with a 

scream ; 
And, as her maidens gather round, she thus recounts her dream : 
' I sat upon a desert shore, and from the mountain nigh, 
Right toward me, I seemed to see a gentle falcon fly ; 
But close behind an eagle swooped, and struck that falcon down. 
And with talons and beak he rent the bird, as he cowered beneath 

my gown.' 
The chief of her maidens smiled, and said : ' To me it doth not 

That the Lady Alda reads aright the boding of her dream. 
Thou art the falcon, and thy knight is the eagle in his pride. 
As he comes in triumph from the war, and pounces on his bride.' 
The maiden laughed, but Alda sighed, and gravely shook her head. 


' Full rich,' quoth she, ' shall thy guerdon be, if thou the truth hast 

'Tis morn ; her letters, stained with blood, the truth too plainly tell, 
How, in the chase of Ronceval, Sir Roland fought and fell." 

Laify A Ida's Dream (Sir Edmund Head's tr.). 

A later legend, which has given rise to sundry poems, connects 

the name of Roland with one of the most beautiful places on the 

Le end Rhine. Popular tradition avers that he sought 

of Roland and shelter One evening in the castle of Drachenfels, 

Hiidegarde. ^j^^^.^ j^g f^jj j^^ j^^^ ^j^j^ Hildegarde, the beautiful 

daughter of the Lord of Drachenfels. The sudden outbreak of 
the war in Spain forced him to bid farewell to his betrothed, but 
he promised to return as soon as possible to celebrate their wed- 
ding. During the campaign, many stories of his courage came 
to Hildegarde's ears, and finally, after a long silence, she heard 
that Roland had perished at Roncesvalles. 

Broken-hearted, the fair young mourner spent her days in 
tears, and at last prevailed upon her father to allow her to enter 
the convent on the island of Nonnenworth, in the middle of the 
river, and within view of the gigantic crag where the castle ruins 
can still be seen. 

" The castled crag of Drachenfels 
Frowns o'er the wide and winding Rhine, 
Whose breast of water broadly swells 
Between the banks which bear the vine, 
And hills all rich with blossomed trees, 
And fields which promise corn and wine. 
And scattered cities crowning these. 
Whose fair white walls along them shine." 

Byeok, Childe Harold. 

With pallid cheeks and tear-dimmed eyes, Hildegarde now 
spent her life either in her tiny cell or in the convent chapel, 
praying for the soul of her beloved, and longing that death might 
soon come to set her free to join him. The legend relates, how- 
ever, that Roland was not dead, as she supposed, but had merely 
been sorely wounded at Roncesvalles. 


When sufficiently recovered to travel, Roland painfully made 
his way back to Drachenfels, where he presented himself late one 
evening, eagerly calling for Hildegarde. A few moments later the 
joyful light left his eyes forever, for he learned that his beloved 
had taken irrevocable vows, and was now the bride of Heaven. 

That selfsame day Roland left the castle of Drachenfels, and 
riding to an eminence overlooking the island of Nonnenworth, he 
gazed long and tearfully at a little Kght twinkling in one of the 
convent windows. As he could not but suppose that it illumined 
Hildegarde's cell and lonely vigils, he watched it all night, and 
when morning came he recognized his beloved's form in the long 
procession of nuns on their way to the chapel. 

This view of the lady he loved seemed a slight consolation 
to the hero, who built a retreat on this rock, which is known 
as Rolandseck. Here he spent his days in pen- 

, , . , , Rolandseck. 

ance and prayer, gazmg constantly at the island at 

his feet, and the swift stream which parted him from Hildegarde. 

One wintry day, many years after he had taken up his abode 
on the rocky height, Roland missed the graceful form he loved, 
and heard, instead of the usual psalm, a dirge for the dead. 
Then he noticed that six of the nuns were carrying a coffin, 
which they lowered into an open tomb. 

Roland's nameless fears were confirmed in the evening, when 
the convent priest visited him, and gently announced that Hilde- 
garde was at rest. Calmly Roland hstened to these tidings, 
begged the priest to hear his confession as usual, and, when he 
had received absolution, expressed a desire to be buried with his 
face turned toward the convent where Hildegarde had lived 
and died. 

The priest readily promised to observe this request, and de- 
parted. When he came on the morrow, he found Roland dead. 
They buried him reverently on the very spot which bears his 
name, with his face turned toward Nonnenworth, where Hilde- 
garde lay at rest. 



The different chansons de gestes relating to Aymon and the 
necromancer Malagigi (Malagis), probably arose from popular 
ballads commemorating the struggles of Charles the Bald and his 
feudatories. These ballads are of course as old as the events 
which they were intended to record, but the chansons de gestes 
based upon them, and entitled " Duolin de Mayence," " Aymon, 
Son of Duolin de Mayence," " Maugis," " Rinaldo de Trebi- 
zonde," "The Four Sons of Aymon," and " Mabrian," are of 
much later date, and were particularly admired during the four- 
teenth and fifteenth centuries. 

One of the most famous of Charlemagne's peers was doubtless 
the noble Aymon of Dordogne ; and when the war against the 
Avars in Hungary had been successfully closed, owing to his 
bravery, his adherents besought the king to bestow upon this 
knight some reward. Charlemagne, whom many of these later 
chansons de gestes describe as mean and avaricious, refused to 
grant any reward, declaring that were he to add still further to 
his vassal's aheady extensive territories, Aymon would soon be- 
come more powerful than his sovereign. 

This unjust refusal displeased Lord Hug of Dordogne, who 

had pleaded for his kinsman, so that he ventured a retort, which 

War between ^° incenscd the king that he slew him then and 

Aymon and there. Aymon, learning of the death of Lord Hug, 
Charlemagne. ^^^ aware of the failure of his last embassy, haugh- 
tily withdrew to his own estates, whence he now began to wage 
war against Charlemagne. 


Instead of open battle, however, a sort of guerrilla warfare was 
carried on, in which, thanks to his marvelous steed Bayard, which 
his cousin Malagigi, the necromancer, had brought him from hell, 
Aymon always won the advantage. At the end of several years, 
however, Charlemagne collected a large host, and came to lay 
siege to the castle where Aymon had intrenched himself with all 
his adherents. 

During that siege, Aymon awoke one morning to find that his 
beloved steed had vanished. Malagigi, hearing him bewail his 
loss, bade him be of good cheer, promising to Loss of the 
restore Bayard ere long, although he would be *'°''=^ Bayard, 
obliged to go to Mount Vulcanus, the mouth of hell, to get him. 
Thus comforted, Aymon ceased to mourn, while Malagigi set to 
work to fulfill his promise. As a brisk wind was blowing from the 
castle towards the camp, he flung upon the breeze some powdered 
hellebore, which caused a violent sneezing throughout the army. 
Then, while his foes were wiping their streaming eyes, the necro- 
mancer, who had learned his black art in the famous school of 
Toledo, slipped through their ranks unseen, and journeyed on to 
Mount Vulcanus, where he encountered his Satanic Majesty. 

His first act was to offer his services to Satan, who accepted 
them gladly, bidding him watch the steed Bayard, which he had 
stolen because he preferred riding a horse to sitting astride a storm 
cloud as usual. The necromancer artfully pretended great anx- 
iety to serve his new master, but having discovered just where 
Bayard was to be found, he made use of a sedative powder to lull 
Satan to sleep. Then, hastening to the angry steed, Malagigi 
made him tractable by whispering his master's name in his ear ; 
and, springing on his back, rode swiftly away. 

Satan was awakened by the joyful whinny of the flying steed, 
and immediately mounted upon a storm cloud and started in 
pursuit, hurling a red-hot thunderbolt at Malagigi to check his 
advance. But the necromancer muttered a magic spell and held 
up his crucifix, and the bolt fell short ; while the devil, losing his 
bjilance, fell to the earth, and thus lamed himself permanentljr. 


Count Aymon, in the mean while, had been obliged to flee 

from Ms besieged castle, mounted upon a sorry steed instead of 

g^ J his fleet-footed horse. When the enemy detected 

restored by his flight, they Set out in pursuit, tracking him by 
Maiagigi. means of bloodhounds, and were about to overtake 
and slay him when Maiagigi suddenly appeared with Bayard. To 
bound on the horse's back, draw his famous sword Flamberge, 
which had been made by the smith Wieland, and charge into 
the midst of his foes, was the work of a few seconds. The result 
was that most of Aymon's foes bit the dust, while he rode away 
unharmed, and gathering many followers, he proceeded to win 
back all the castles and fortresses he had lost. 

Frightened by Aymon's successes, Charlemagne finally sent 
Roland, his nephew and favorite, bidding him offer a rich ransom 
to atone for the miu-der of Lord Hug, and instructing him to se- 
cure peace at any price. Aymon at first refused these overtures, 
but consented at last to cease the feud upon receipt of six times 
Lord Hug's weight in gold, and the hand of the king's sister, Aya, 
whom he had long loved. 

These demands were granted, peace was concluded, and 
Aymon, having married Aya, led her to the castle of Pierlepont, 
where they dwelt most happily together, and became the parents 
of foiu- brave sons, Renaud, Alard, Guiscard, and Richard. In- 
activity, however, was not enjoyable to an inveterate fighter like 
Aymon, so he soon left home to journey into Spain, where the 
bitter enmity between the Christians and the Moors would afford 
him opportunity to fight to his heart's content. 

Years now passed by, during which Aymon covered himself 
with glory ; for, mounted on Bayard, he was the foremost in every 
battle, and always struck terror into the hearts of his foes by the 
mere flash of his blade Flamberge. Thus he fought until his sons 
attained manhood, and Aya had long thought him dead, when a 
messenger came to Pierlepont, telling them that Aymon lay ill 
in the Pyrenees, and wished to see his wife and his children once 


In answer to these summons Aya hastened southward, and 
found her husband old and worn, yet not so changed that she 
could not recognize him. Aymon, sick as he was, rejoiced at the 
sight of his manly sons. He gave the three eldest the spoil he 
had won during those many years' warfare, and promised Renaud 
(Reinold) his horse and sword, if he could successfully mount and 
ride the former. 

Renaud, who was a skillful horseman, fancied the task very 
easy, and was somewhat surprised when his father's steed caught 
him by the garments with his teeth, and tumbled Bayard won 
him into the manger. Undismayed by one failure, ^y Renaud. 
however, Renaud sprang boldly upon Bayard ; and, in spite of all 
the horse's efforts, kept his seat so well that his father formally 
gave him the promised mount and sword. 

When restored to health by the tender nursing of his loving 
wife, Aymon returned home with his family. Then, hearing that 
Charlemagne had returned from his coronation journey to Rome, 
and was about to celebrate the majority of his heir, Aymon went 
to court with his four sons. 

During the tournament, held as usual on such festive occa- 
sions, Renaud unhorsed every opponent, and even defeated the 
prince. This roused the anger of Chariot, or Berthelot as he is 
called by some authorities, and made him vow revenge. He 
soon discovered that Renaud was particularly attached to his 
brother Alard, so he resolved first to harm the latter. Advised 
by the traitor Ganelon, Chariot challenged Alard to a game of 
chess, and insisted that the stakes should be the players' heads. 

This proposal was very distasteful to Alard, for he knew that he 
would never dare lay any claim to the prince's head even if he 
won the game, and feared to lose his own if he failed to win. 
Compelled to accept the challenge, however, Alard began the 
game, and played so well that he won five times in succession. 
Then Chariot, angry at being so completely checkmated, sud- 
denly seized the board and struck his antagonist such a cruel blow 
that the blood began to flow. Alard, curbing his wrath, simply 


withdrew ; and it was only when Renaud questioned him very 
closely that he told how the quarrel had occurred. 

Renaud was indignant at the insult offered his brother, and 
went to the emperor with his complaint. The umpires reluctandy 
testified that the prince had forfeited his head, so Renaud cut it off 
in the emperor's presence, and effected his escape with his father 
and brothers before any one could lay hands upon them. Closely 
pursued by the imperial troops, Aymon and his sons were soon 
brought to bay, and fought so bravely that they slew many of 
their assailants. At last, seeing that all their horses except the 
incomparable Bayard had been slain, Renaud bade his brothers 
mount behind him, and they dashed away. The aged Aymon 
had already fallen into the hands of the emperor's adviser, Tur- 
pin, who solemnly promised that no harm should befall him. But 
in spite of this oath, and of the remonstrances of all his peers, 
Charlemagne prepared to have Aymon publicly hanged, and con- 
sented to release him only upon condition that Aymon would 
promise to deliver his sons into the emperor's hands, were it ever 
in his power to do so. 

The four young men, knowing their father safe, and unwilling 
to expose their mother to the unpleasant experiences of the siege 
which would have followed had they remained at Pierlepont, now 
journeyed southward, and entered the service of Saforet, King of 
the Moors. With him they won many victories ; but, seeing at the 
end of three years that this monarch had no intention of giving 
them the promised reward, they slew him, and offered their swords 
to Iwo, Prince of Tarasconia. 

Afraid of these warriors, yet wishing to bind them to him by 
indissoluble ties, Iwo gave Renaud his daughter Clarissa in mar- 
Fortress of riage, and helped him build an impregnable for- 
Montauban. tj-gsg a,t Montauban. This stronghold was scarcely 
finished when Charlemagne came up with a great army to besiege 
it; but at the end of a year of fruitless attempts, the emperor 
reluctantly withdrew, leaving Montauban still in the hands of his 


Seven years had now elapsed since the four young men had seen 
their mother ; and, anxious to embrace her once more, they went 
in pilgrims' robes to the castle of Pierlepont. Here the chamber- 
lain recognized them and betrayed their presence to Aymon, who, 
compelled by his oath, prepared to bind his four sons fast and 
take them captive to his sovereign. The young men, however, 
defended themselves bravely, secured their father instead, and 
sent him in chains to Charlemagne. Unfortunately the monarch 
was much nearer Pierlepont at the time than the young men sup- 
posed. Hastening onward, he entered the castle before they had 
even become aware of his approach, and secured three of them. 
The fourth, Renaud, aided by his mother, escaped in pilgrim's 
garb, and returned to Montauban. Here he found Bayard, and 
without pausing to rest, he rode straight to Paris to dehver his 
brothers from the emperor's hands. 

Overcome by fatigue after this hasty journey, Renaud dis- 
mounted shortly before reaching Paris, and fell asleep. When 
he awoke he found that his steed had vanished, and he reluctantly 
continued his journey on foot, begging his way. He was joined 
on the way by his cousin Malagigi, who also wore a pilgrim's garb, 
and who promised to aid Renaud, not only in freeing his brothers, 
but also in recovering Bayard. 

Unnoticed, the beggars threaded their way through the city of 
Paris and came to the palace. There a great tournament was to 
be held, and the emperor had promised to the victor Maiagigi's 
of the day the famous steed Bayard. To stimulate stratagem, 
the knights to greater efforts by a view of the promised prize, the 
emperor bade a groom lead forth the renowned steed. The horse 
seemed restive, but suddenly paused beside two beggars, with a 
whinny of joy. The groom, little suspecting that the horse's real 
master was hidden under the travel-stained pilgrim's robe, laugh- 
ingly commented upon Bayard's bad taste. Then Malagigi, the 
second beggar, suddenly cried aloud that his poor companion had 
been told that he would recover from his lameness were he only 
once allowed to bestride the famous steed. Anxious to witness a 


miracle, the emperor gave orders that the beggar should be placed 
upon Bayard ; and Renaud, after feigning to fall off through awk- 
wardness, suddenly sat firmly upon his saddle, and dashed away 
before any one could stop him. 

As for Malagigi, having wandered among the throng unheeded, 
he remained in Paris until evening. Then, making his way into 
the prison by means of the necromantic charm " Abracadabra," 
which he continually repeated, he delivered the other sons of 
Aymon from their chains. He next entered the palace of the 
sleeping emperor, spoke to him in his sleep, and forced him, under 
hypnotic influence, to give up the scepter and crown, which he 
triumphantly bore away. 

When Charlemagne awoke on the morrow, found his prisoners 
gone, and realized that what had seemed a dream was only too 

Treachery true, and that the insignia of royalty were gone, 
of iwo. he was very angry indeed. More than ever before 
he now longed to secure the sons of Aymon ; so he bribed Iwo, 
with whom the brothers had taken refuge, to send them to him. 
Clarissa suspected her father's treachery, and implored Renaud 
not to beheve him ; but the brave young hero, relying upon Iwo's 
promise, set out without arms to seek the emperor's pardon. On 
the way, however, the four sons of Aymon fell into an ambuscade, 
whence they would scarcely have escaped alive had not one of 
the brothers drawn from under his robe the weapons Clarissa had 
given him. 

The emperor's warriors, afraid of the valor of these doughty 
brethren now that they were armed, soon withdrew to a safe 
distance, whence they could watch the young men and prevent 
their escape. Suddenly, however, Malagigi came dashing up on 
Bayard, for Clarissa had warned him of his kinsmen's danger, and 
implored him to go to their rescue. Renaud immediately mounted 
his favorite steed, and brandishing Flamberge, which his uncle 
had brought him, he charged so gallantly into the very midst of 
the imperial troops that he soon put them to flight. 

The emperor, baffled and angry, suspected that Iwo had 


warned his son-in-law of the danger, and provided him with 
weapons. In his wrath he had Iwo seized, and sentenced him to 
be hanged. But Renaud, seeing Clarissa's tears, Renaud and 
vowed that he would save his father-in-law from Roland, 
such an ignominious death. With his usual bravery he charged 
into the very midst of the executioners, and unhorsed the valiant 
champion, Roland. During this encounter, Iwo effected his 
escape, and Renaud followed him, while Roland slowly picked 
himself up and prepared to follow his antagonist and once more 
try his strength against him. 

On the way to Montauban, Roland met Richard, one of the 
four brothers, whom he carried captive to Charlemagne. The 
emperor immediately ordered the young knight to be hanged, and 
bade some of his most noble followers to see the sentence ex- 
ecuted. They one and all refused, however, declaring death on 
the gallows too ignominious a punishment for a knight. 

The discussions which ensued delayed the execution and en- 
abled Malagigi to warn Renaud of his brother's imminent peril. 
Mounted upon Bayard, Renaud rode straight to Montfaucon, 
accompanied by his two other brothers and a few faithful men. 
There they camped under the gallows, to be at hand when the 
guard came to hang the prisoner on the morrow. But Renaud 
and his companions slept so soundly that they would have been 
surprised had not the intelligent Bayard awakened his master by a 
very opportune kick. Springing to his feet, Renaud roused his com- 
panions, vaulted upon his steed, and charged the guard. He soon 
delivered his captive brother and carried him off in triumph, after 
hanging the knight who had volunteered to act as executioner. 

Charlemagne, still anxious to seize and punish these refractory 
subjects, now collected an army and began again to besiege the 
stronghold of Montauban. Occasional sallies and Montauban 
a few bloody encounters were the only variations besieged by 
in the monotony of a several-years' siege. But Charlemagne, 
finally the provisions of the besieged became very scanty. Mala- 
gigi, who knew that a number of provision wagons were expected, 


advised Renaud to make a bold sally and carry them off, while 
he, the necromancer, dulled the senses of the imperial army by 
scattering one of his magic sleeping powders in the air. He had 
just begun his spell when Oliver perceived him and, pouncing 
upon him, carried him off to the emperor's tent. Oliver, on the 
way thither, never once relinquished his grasp, although the ma- 
gician tried to make him do so by throwing a pinch of hellebore 
in his face. 

While sneezing loudly the paladin told how he had caught the 
magician, and the emperor vowed that the rascal should be hanged 
on the very next day. When he heard this decree, Malagigi im- 
plored the emperor to give him a good meal, since this was to be 
his last night on earth, pledging his word not to leave the camp 
without the emperor. This promise so reassured Charlemagne 
that he ordered a sumptuous repast, charging a few knights to 
watch Malagigi, lest, after all, he should effect his escape. The 
meal over, the necromancer again had recovu-se to his magic art 
to plunge the whole camp into a deep sleep. Then, proceeding 
unmolested to the imperial tent, he bore off the sleeping emperor 
to the gates of Montauban, which flew open at his well-known 

Charlemagne, on awaking, was as svurprised as dismayed to find 
himself in the hands of his foes, who, however, when they saw 
his uneasiness, gallantly gave him his freedom without exacting 
any pledge or ransom in return. But when Malagigi heard of 
this foolhardy act of generosity, he burned up his papers, boxes, 
and bags, and, when asked why he acted thus, replied that he was 
about to leave his mad young kinsmen to their own devices, and 
take refuge in a hermitage, where he intended to spend the re- 
mainder of his life in repenting of his sins. Soon after this he 
disappeared, and Aymon's sons, escaping secretly from Montau- 
ban just before it was forced to surrender, took refuge in a castle 
they owned in the Ardennes. 

Here the emperor pursued them, and kept up the siege until 
Aya sought him, imploring him to forgive her sons and to cease 


persecuting them. Charlemagne yielded at last to her entreaties, 
and promised to grant the sons of Aymon full forgiveness pro- 
vided the demoniacal steed Bayard were given over to him to be 
put to death. Aya hastened to Renaud to tell him this joyful 
news, but when he declared that nothing would ever induce him 
to give up his faithful steed, she besought him not to sacrifice his 
brothers, wife, and sons, out of love for his horse. 

Thus adjured, Renaud, with breaking heart, finally consented. 
The treaty was signed, and Bayard, with feet heavily weighted, 
was led to the middle of a bridge over the Seine, Death of 
where the emperor had decreed that he should be Bayard, 
drowned. At a given signal from Charlemagne the noble horse 
was pushed into the water; but, in spite of the weights on his 
feet, he rose to the surface twice, casting an agonized glance upon 
his master, who had been forced to come and witness his death. 
Aya, seeing her son's grief, drew his head down upon her motherly 
bosom, and when Bayard rose once more and missed his beloved 
master's face among the crowd, he sank beneath the waves with 
a groan of despair, and never rose again. 

Renaud, maddened by the needless cruelty of this act, now tore 
up the treaty and flung it at the emperor's feet. He then broke 
his sword Flamberge and cast it into the Seine, declaring that 
he would never wield such a weapon again, and returned to Mon- 
tauban alone and on foot. There he bade his wife and children 
farewell, after committing them to the loyal protection of Roland. 
He then set out for the Holy Land, where he fought against the 
infidels, using a club as weapon, so as not to break his vow. This 
evidently proved no less effective in his hands than the noted 
Flamberge, for he was offered the crown of Jerusalem in reward 
for his services. As he had vowed to renounce all the pomps 
and vanities of the world, Renaud passed the crown on to God- 
frey of Bouillon. Then, returning home, he found that Clarissa 
had died, after having been persecuted for years by the unwelcome 
attentions of many suitors, who would fain have persuaded her 
that her husband was dead. 


According to one version of the story, Renaud died in a her- 
mitage, in the odor of sanctity ; but if we are to beUeve another, 

Death of he journeyed on to Cologne, where the cathedral 
Renaud. ^^s being built, and labored at it night and day. 
Exasperated by his constant activity, which put them all to shame, 
his fellow-laborers slew him and flung his body into the Rhine. 
Strange to relate, however, his body was not carried away by the 
strong current, but lingered near the city, until it was brought to 
land and interred by some pious people. 

Many miracles having taken place near the spot where he was 
buried, the emperor gave orders that his remains should be con- 
veyed either to Aix-la-Chapelle or to Paris. The body was there- 
fore laid upon a cart, which moved of its own accord to Dort- 
mund, in Westphalia, where it stopped, and where a church was 
erected in honor of Renaud in 8ii. Here the saintly warrior's 
remains were duly laid to rest, and the church in Dortmund still 
bears his name. A chapel in Cologne is also dedicated to him, 
and is supposed to stand on the very spot where he was so 
treacherously slain after his long and brilliant career. 



It is supposed that this chanson de geste was first composed in 
the thirteenth century ; but the version which has come down to 
us must have been written shortly before the discovery of print- 
ing. Although this poem was deservedly a favorite composition 
during the middle ages, no manuscript copy of it now exists. 
Such was the admiration that it excited that Lord Berners trans- 
lated it into English under Henry VIII. In modern times it has 
been the theme of Wieland's finest poem, and of one of Weber's 
operas, both of which works are known by the title of " Oberon." 
It is from this work that Shakespeare undoubtedly drew some of 
the principal characters for his " Midsummer-Night's Dream," 
where Oberon, king of the fairies, plays no unimportant part. 

The hero of this poem, Huon of Bordeaux, and his brother 
Girard, were on their way from Guienne to Paris to do homage 
to Charlemagne for their estates. Chariot, the chariot siain 
monarch's eldest son, who bears a very unenvia- ^^ Huon. 
ble reputation in all the mediaeval poems, treacherously waylaid 
the brothers, intending to put them both to death. He attacked 
them separately ; but, after slaying Girard, was himself slain by 
Huon, who, quite unconscious of the illustrious birth of his assail- 
ant, calmly proceeded on his way. 

The rumor of the prince's death soon followed Huon to court, 
and Charlemagne, incensed, vowed that he would never pardon 
him until he had proved his loyalty and repentance by journeying 
to Bagdad, where he was to cut off the head of the great bashaw, 



to kiss the Sultan's daughter, and whence he was to bring back a 
lock of that mighty potentate's gray beard and four of his best 

" ' Yet hear the terms ; hear what no earthly power 
Shall ever change ! ' He spoke, and wav'd below 
His scepter, bent in anger o'er my brow. — 
'Yes, thou may'st live ; — but, instant, from this hour. 
Away ! in exile rove far nations o'er; 
Thy foot accurs'd shall tread this soil no more, 
Till thou, in due obedience to my will 
Shalt, point by point, the word I speak fulfill; 
Thou diest, if this unwrought thou touch thy native shore. 

" ' Go hence to Bagdad; in high festal day 
At his round table, when the caliph, plac'd 
In stately pomp, with splendid emirs grac'd, 
Enjoys the banquet rang'd in proud array. 
Slay him who lies the monarch's left beside, 
Dash from his headless trunk the purple tide. 
Then to the right draw near ; with courtly grace 
The beauteous heiress of his throne embrace ; 
And thrice with public kiss salute her as thy bride. 

" ' And while the caliph, at the monstrous scene, 
Such as before ne'er shock'd a caliph's eyes, 
Stares at thy confidence in mute surprise. 
Then, as the Easterns wont, with lowly mien 
Fall on the earth before his golden throne, 
And gain (a trifle, proof of love alone) 
That it may please him, gift of friend to friend, 
Four of his grinders at my bidding send, 
And of his beard a lock with silver hair o'ergrown." 

WiELAND, Obermi (Sotheby's tr.). 

Huon regretfully left his native land to begin this apparently 

hopeless quest ; and, after visiting his uncle, the Pope, in Rome, 

he tried to secure heavenly assistance bv a Dilerim- 

Huon s quest. J sr t:> 

age to the holy sepulcher. Then he set out for 
Babylon, or Bagdad, for, with the usual mediaeval scorn for geog- 
raphy, evinced in all the chansons de gestes, these are considered 


interchangeable names for the same town. As the hero was 
journeying towards his goal by way of the Red Sea, it will not 
greatly sm-prise the modern reader to hear that he lost his way and 
came to a pathless forest. Darkness soon overtook him, and 
Huon was bUndly stumbling forward, leading his weary steed by 
the bridle, when he perceived a light, toward which he directed 
his way. 

" Not long his step the winding way pursued. 
When on his wistful gaze, to him beseems, 
The light of distant fire delightful gleams. 
His cheek flash'd crimson as the flame he view'd. 
Half wild with hope and fear, he rushed to find 
In these lone woods some glimpse of human kind, 
And, ever and anon, at once the ray 
Flash'd on his sight, then sunk at once away. 
While rose and fell the path as hill and valley wind." 

WiELAND, Oberon (Sotheby's tr.). 

Huon at last reached a cave, and found a gigantic old man 
all covered with hair, which was his sole garment. After a few 
moments' fruitless attempt at conversation in the 
language of the country, Huon impetuously spoke 
a few words in his mother tongue. Imagine his surprise when 
the uncouth inhabitant of the woods answered him fluently, and 
when he discovered, after a few rapid questions, that the man 
was Sherasmin (Gerasmes), an old servant of his father's ! This 
old man had escaped from the hands of his Saracen captors, 
and had taken refuge in these woods, where he had already 
dwelt many years. After relating his adventures, Huon entreated 
Sherasmin to point out the nearest way to Bagdad, and learned 
with surprise that there were two roads, one very long and com- 
paratively safe, even for an inexperienced traveler, and the other 
far shorter, but leading through an enchanted forest, where count- 
less dangers awaited the venturesome traveler. 

The young knight of course decided to travel along the most 
perilous way; and, accompanied by Sherasmin, who offered his 


services as guide, he set out early upon the morrow to continue 
his quest. On the fourth day of their journey they saw a Saracen 
struggling single-handed against a band of Arabs, whom Huon 
soon put tQ flight with a few well directed strokes from his 
mighty sword. 

After resting a few moments, Huon bade Sherasmin lead the 
way into the neighboring forest, although his guide and mentor 
again strove to dissuade him from crossing it by explaining that 
the forest was haunted by a goblin who could change men into 
beasts. The hero, who was on his way to insult the proudest 
ruler on earth, was not to be deterred by a goblin ; and as She- 
rasmin still refused to enter first, Huon plunged boldly into the 
enchanted forest. Sherasmin followed him reluctantly, finding 
cause for alarm in the very silence of the dense shade, and timor- 
ously glancing from side to side in the gloomy recesses, where 
strange forms seemed to glide noiselessly about. 

" Meanwhile the wand'ring travelers onward go 
Unawares within the circuit of a wood, 
Whose mazy windings at each step renew'd, 
In many a serpent-fold, twin'd to and fro, 
So that our pair to lose themselves were fain." 

WiELAND, Oheroji (Sotheby's tr.). 

The travelers lost their way entirely as they penetrated farther 
into the forest, and they came at last to a little glade, where, rest- 
Meeting with ing under the spreading branches of a mighty oak, 
oberon. jhgy ^gj-e favored with the vision of a castle. Its 
golden portals opened wide to permit of the egress of Oberon, 
king of the fairies, the son of Julius Caesar and Morgana the fay. 
He came to them in the radiant guise of the god of love, sitting 
in a chariot of silver, drawn by leopards. 

Sherasmin, terrified at the appearance of this radiant creature, 
and under the influence of wild, unreasoning fear, seized the 
bridle of his master's steed and dragged him into the midst of 
the forest, in spite of all his remonstrances. At last he paused, 
out of breath, and thought himself safe from further pursuit ; but 


he was soon made aware of the goblin's wrath by the sudden out- 
break of a frightful storm. 

"A tempest, wing'd with lightning, storm, and rain, 
O'ertakes our pair : around them midnight throws 
Darkness that hides the world : it peels, cracks, blows, 
As if the uprooted globe would split in twain ; 
The elements in wild confusion flung. 
Each warr'd with each, as fierce from chaos sprung. 
Yet heard from time to time amid the storm, 
The gentle whisper of th' aerial form 
Breath'd forth a lovely tone that died the gales among." 

WiELAND, Ohermi (Sotheby's tr.). 

All Sherasmin's efforts to escape from the spirit of the forest had 
been in vain. Oberon's magic horn had called forth the raging 
tempest, and his power suddenly stayed its fury as Huon and his 
companion overtook a company of monks and nuns. These holy 
people had been celebrating a festival by a picnic, and were now 
hastening home, drenched, bedraggled, and in a sorry plight. 
They had scarcely reached the convent yard, however, where 
Sherasmin fancied all would be quite safe from further enchant- 
ment, when Oberon suddenly appeared in their midst like a bril- 
liant meteor. 

" At once the storm is fled ; serenely mild 
Heav'n smiles around, bright rays the sky adorn, 
While beauteous as an angel newly born 
Beams in the roseate dayspring, glow'd the child. 
A lily stalk his graceful limbs sustain'd. 
Round his smooth neck an ivory horn was chain'd; 
Yet lovely as he was, on all around 
Strange horror stole, for stern the fairy frown'd, 
And o'er each sadden'd charm a sullen anger reign'd." 

WiELAND, Oberon (Sotheby's tr.). 

The displeasure of the king of the fairies had been roused by 
Huon and Sherasmjn's discourteous flight, but he merely vented 


his anger and showed his power by breathing a soft strain on his 

magic horn. At the same moment, monks, nuns, and Sherasmin, 

Oberon's aid forgetting their age and caUing, began to dance 

promised. \^ t^g wildest abandon. Huon alone remained 
uninfluenced by the music, for he had had no wish to avoid an 
encounter with Oberon. 

The king of the fairies now revealed to Huon that as his life 
had been pure and his soul true, he would help him in his quest. 
Then, at a wave from the Hly wand the magic music ceased, and 
the charm was broken. Sherasmin was graciously forgiven by 
Oberon, who, seeing the old man well-nigh exhausted, offered him 
a golden beaker of wine, bidding him drink without fear. But 
Sherasmin was of a suspicious nature, and it was only when he 
found that the draught had greatly refreshed him that he com- 
pletely dismissed his fears. 

After informing Huon that he was fully aware of the peculiar 
nature of his quest, Oberon gave him the golden beaker, assuring 

The magic him that it would always be full of the richest wine 
horn. foj. tjig virtuous, but would burn the evil doer with 

a devouring fire. He also bestowed his magic horn upon him, 
telling him that a gentle blast would cause all the hearers to 
dance, while a loud one would bring to his aid the king of the 
fairies himself. 

" ' Does but its snail-like spiral hollow sing, 
A lovely note soft swell'd with gentle breath. 
Though thousand warriors threaten instant death, 
And with advancing weapons round enring ; 
Then, as thou late hast seen, in restless dance 
All, all must spin, and every sword and lance 
Fall with th' exhausted warriors to the ground. 
But if thou peal it with impatient sound, 
I at thy call appear, more swift than lightning glance.' " 

WiELAND, Oberon (Sotheby's tr.). 

Another wave of his lily wand, and Oberon disappeared, leav- 
ing a subtle fragrance behind him ; and had it not been for the 


golden beaker and the ivory horn which he still held, Huon might 
have been tempted to consider the whole occurrence a dream. 

The journey to Bagdad was now resumed in a more hopeful 
spirit ; and when the travelers reached Tourmont they found that 
it was governed by one of Huon's uncles, who, captured in his 
youth by the Saracens, had turned Mussulman, and had gradually 
risen to the highest dignity. Seeing Huon refresh some of the 
Christians of his household with a draught of wine from the magic 
cup, he asked to be allowed to drink from it too. He had no 
sooner taken hold of it, however, than he was unmercifully 
burned, for he was a renegade, and the magic cup refreshed only 
the true believers. 

Incensed at what he fancied a deliberate insult, the governor 
of Tom'mont planned to slay Huon at a great banquet. But the 
young hero defended himself bravely, and, after slaying sundry 
assailants,, disposed of the remainder by breathing a soft note 
upon his magic horn, and setting them all to dancing wildly, 
until they sank breathless and exhausted upon their divans. 

As Huon had taken advantage of the spell to depart and 
continue his joiuney, he soon reached the castle of the giant 
Angoulaffre. The latter had stolen from Oberon The giant 
a magic ring which made the wearer invulnera- Angoulaffre. 
ble, and thus suilered him to commit countless crimes with 
impunity. When Huon came near the castle he met an un- 
fortunate knight who imformed him that the giant detained 
his promised bride captive, together with several other helpless 

Like a true knight errant, Huon vowed to deliver these help- 
less ladies, and, in spite of the armed guards at every doorway, 
he passed unmolested into Angoulaffre's chamber. There he 
found the giant plunged in a lethargy, but was rapturously wel- 
comed by the knight's fair betrothed, who had long sighed for a 
deliverer. In a few hurried sentences she told him that her captor 
constantly forced his unwelcome attentions upon her ; but that, 
owing to the protection of the Virgin, a trance overtook him and 


made him helpless whenever he tried to force her inclinations and 
take her to wife. 

" ' As oft the hateful battle he renews, 
As oft the miracle his force subdues ; 
The ring no virtue boasts whene'er that sleep assails.' " 

WiELAND, Oberon (Sotheby's tr.). 

Prompted by this fair princess, whose name was Angela, Huon 
secured the ring, and donned a magic hauberk hanging near. 
But, as he scorned to take any further advantage of a sleeping 
foe, he patiently awaited the giant's awakening to engage in one 
of those combats which the mediaeval poets loved to describe. 

Of course Huon was victorious, and after slaying Angoulaffre, 
he restored the fair Angela to her lover, Alexis, and gave a great 

Angela and banquet, which was attended by the fifty rescued 
Alexis. damsels, and by fifty knights who had come to help 
Alexis. Although this gay company would fain have had him 
remain with them, Huon traveled on. When too exhausted to 
continue his way, he again rested under a tree, where Oberon 
caused a tent to be raised by invisible hands. Here Huon had 
a wonderful dream, in which he beheld his future ladylove, and 
was warned of some of the perils which still awaited him before 
he could claim her as his own. 

The journey was then resumed, and when they reached the 
banks of the Red Sea, Oberon sent one of his spirits, Malebron, 
to carry them safely over. They traveled through burning wastes 
of sand, refreshed and strengthened by occasional draughts from 
the magic goblet, and came at last to a forest, where they saw a 
Saracen about to succumb beneath the attack of a monstrous Hon. 
Huon immediately flew to his rescue, slew the lion, and, having 
drunk deeply from his magic cup, handed it to the Saracen, on 
whose lips the refreshing wine turned to liquid flame. 

" With evil eye, from Huon's courteous hand. 
Filled to the brim, the heathen takes the bowl — 
Back from his lip th' indignant bubbles roll ! 


The spring is dried, and hot as fiery brand, 
Proof of internal guilt, the metal glows. 
Far from his grasp the wretch the goblet throws. 
Raves, roars, and stamps." 

WiELAND, Oberon (Sotheby's tr.). 

With a blasphemous exclamation the Saracen flung aside the cup, 
and seeing that his own steed had been slain by the lion, he sprang 
unceremoniously upon Huon's horse, and rode rapidly away. 

As there was but one mount left for them both, Huon and 
Sherasmin were now obliged to proceed more slowly to Bagdad, 
where they found every hostelry full, as the people Princess 
were all coming thither to witness the approaching Rezia. 

nuptials of the princess, Rezia (Esclamonde), and Babican, King 
of Hyrcania. Huon and Sherasmin, after a long search, finally 
found entertainment in a little hut, where an old woman, the 
mother of the princess's attendant, entertained them by relating 
that the princess was very reluctant to marry. She also told 
them that Rezia had lately been troubled by a dream, in which 
she had seen herself in the guise of a hind and pursued through 
a pathless forest by Babican. In this dream she was saved and 
restored to her former shape by a radiant little creature, who rode 
in a glistening silver car, drawn by leopards. He was accom- 
panied by a fair-haired knight, whom he presented to her as her 
future bridegroom. 

" The shadow flies ; but from her heart again 
He never fades— the youth with golden hair; 
Eternally his image hovers there, 
Exhaustless source of sweetly pensive pain. 
In nightly visions, and in daydreams shown." 

WiELAND, Oheron (Sotheby's tr.). 

Huon hstened in breathless rapture, for he now felt assured 
that the princess Rezia was the radiant creature he had seen in 
his dream, and that Oberon intended them for each other. He 
therefore assured the old woman that the princess should never 


marry the detested Babican. Then, although Sherasmin pointed 
out to him that the way to a lady's favor seldom consists in cutting 
off the head of her intended bridegroom, depriving her father of 
four teeth and a lock of his beard, and kissing her without the 
usual preliminary of " by your leave," the young hero persisted 
in his resolution to visit the palace on the morrow. 

That selfsame night, Huon and Rezia were again visited by 
sweet dreams, in which Oberon, their guardian spirit, promised 
Oberon again them his aid. While the princess was arraying her- 
to the rescue, ggif fg]- j^gj nuptials on the morrow, the old woman 
rushed into her apartment and announced that a fair-haired 
knight, evidently the promised deliverer, had slept in her humble 
dweUing the night before. Comforted by these tidings, Rezia 
made a triumphant entrance into the palace hall, where her 
father, the bridegroom, and all the principal dignitaries of the 
court, awaited her appearance. 

" Emirs and viziers, all the courtly crowd 
Meantime attendant at the sultan's call, 
With festal splendor grace the nuptial hall. 
The banquet waits, the cymbals clang aloud. 
The gray-beard caliph from his golden door 
Stalks mid the slaves that fall his path before ; 
Behind, of stately gesture, proud to view. 
The Druse prince, though somewhat pale of hue, 
Comes as a bridegroom deck'd with jewels blazing o'er." 

WiELAND, Ofenw (Sotheby's tr.). 

In the mean while Huon, awaking at early dawn, found a 
complete suit of Saracenic apparel at his bedside. He donned 
it joyfully, entered the palace unchallenged, and passed into the 
banquet hall, where he perceived the gray-bearded caliph, and 
recognized in the bridegroom at his left the Saracen whom he had 
delivered from the lion, and who had so discourteously stolen 
his horse. 

One stride forward, a flash of his curved scimitar, and the first 
part of Charlemagne's order was fulfilled, for the Saracen's head 


rolled to the ground. The sudden movement caused Huon's tur- 
ban to fall off, however, and the princess, seated at the caliph's 
right, gazed spellbound upon the knight, whose Huon's 
golden locks fell in rich curls about his shoulders. success. 

There are several widely different versions of this part of the 
story. The most popular, however, states that Huon, taking 
advantage of the first moments of surprise, kissed Rezia thrice, 
slipping on her finger, in sign of betrothal, the magic ring which 
he had taken from Angoulaffre. Then, seeing the caliph's guards 
about to fall upon him, he gently breathed soft music on his magic 
horn, and set caliph and court a-dancing. 

"The whole divan, one swimming circle glides 
Swift without stop : the old bashaws click time, 
As if on polish'd ice ; in trance sublime 
The iman hoar with some spruce courtier slides. 
Nor rank nor age from capering refrain ; 
Nor can the king his royal foot restrain ! 
He too must reel amid the frolic row, 
Grasp the grand vizier by his beard of snow. 
And teach the aged man once more to bound amain ! " 

WlELAND, Oheron (Sotheby's tr.). 

While they were thus occupied, Huon conducted the wilHng 
Rezia to the door, where Sherasmin was waiting for them with 
fleet steeds, and with Fatima, the princess's favorite Flight of 
attendant. While Sherasmin helped the ladies to Rezia. 
mount, Huon hastened back to the palace hall, and found that 
the exhausted caliph had sunk upon a divan. With the prescribed 
ceremonies, our hero politely craved a lock of his beard and four 
of his teeth as a present for Charlemagne. This impudent request 
so incensed the caliph that he vociferated orders to his guards to 
slay the stranger. Huon was now forced to defend himself with 
a curtain pole and a golden bowl, until, needing aid, he suddenly 
blew a resounding peal upon his magic horn. The earth shook, 
the palace rocked, Oberon appeared in the midst of rolling thun- 
der and flashing lightning, and with a wave of his lily wand 


j)lunged caliph and people into a deep sleep. Then he placed 
his silver car at Huon's disposal, to bear him and his bride and 
attendants to Ascalon, where a ship was waiting to take them 
back to France. 

" ' So haste, thou matchless pair ! 
On wings of love, my car, that cuts the air. 
Shall waft you high above terrestrial sight. 
And place, ere morning melt the shades of night. 
On Askalon's far shore, beneath my guardian care.'" 

WiELAND, CiJirrtfw (Sotheby's tr.). 

■\\'hen Huon and Rezia were about to embark at Ascalon, 
Oberon appeared. He claimed his chariot, which had brought 
Oberon's them thither, and gave the knight a golden and 
warning. jewcled caskct, which contained the teeth of the 
caliph and a lock of his beard. One last test of Huon's loyalty 
was required, however ; for Oberon, at parting, warned him to 
make no attempt to claim Rezia as his wife until their union had 
been blessed at Rome by the Pope. 

" ' And deep, O Huon ! grave it in your brain ! 
Till good Sylvester, pious father, sheds 
Heaven's holy consecration on your heads, 
As brother and as sister chaste remain ! 
Oh, may ye not, with inauspicious haste. 
The fruit forbidden prematurely taste ! 
Know, if ye rashly venture ere the time, 
That Oberon, in vengeance of your crime. 
Leaves you, without a friend, on life's deserted waste ! ' " 

WiELAND, Oberon (Sotheby's tr.). 

The first part of the journey was safely accomplished ; but 
when they stopped at Lepanto, on the way, Huon insisted upon 
his mentor, Sherasmin, taking passage on another vessel, which 
sailed direct to France, that he might hasten ahead, lay the golden 
casket at Charlemagne's feet, and announce Huon's coming with 
his Oriental bride. 

When Sherasmin had reluctantly departed, and they were again 



on the high seas, Huon expounded the Christian faith to Rezia, 
who not only was converted, but was also baptized by a priest on 
board. He gave her the Christian name of Amanda, in exchange 
for her pagan name of Rezia or Esclarmonde. This same priest 
also consecrated their marriage ; and while Huon intended to 
await the Pope's blessing ere he claimed Amanda as his wife, his 
good resolutions were soon forgotten, and the last injunction of 
Oberon disregarded. 

This disobedience was immediately punished, for a frightful 
tempest suddenly arose, threatening to destroy the vessel and all 
on board. The sailors, full of superstitious fears, Disobedience 
cast lots to discover who should be sacrificed to and 

allay the fury of the storm. When the choice fell ''""'^ ™*" ' 
upon Huon, Amanda flung herself with him into the tumultuous 
waves. As the lovers vanished overboard thp storm was suddenly 
appeased, and, instead of drowning together, Huon and Amanda, 
by the magic of the ring she wore, drifted to a volcanic island, 
where they almost perished from hunger and thirst. 

Much search among the rocks was finally rewarded by the dis- 
covery of some dates, which were particularly welcome, as the 
lovers had been bitterly deluded by the sight of some apples of 
Sodom. The fruit, however, was soon exhausted, and, after un- 
told exertions, Huon made his way over the mountains to a fer- 
tiile valley, the retreat of Titania, queen of the fairies, who had 
quarreled with Oberon, and who was waiting here until recalled 
to fairyland. 

The only visible inhabitant of the valley, however, was a her- 
mit, who welcomed Huon, and showed him a short and conven- 
ient way to bring Amanda thither. After listening attentively to 
the story of Huon's adventures, the hermit bade him endeavor to 
recover the favor of Oberon by voluntarily hving apart from his 
wife, and leading a life of toil and abstinence. 

" ' Blest,' says the hermit, ' blest the man whom fate 
Guides with strict hand, but not unfriendly aim ! 
How blest ! whose slightest fault is doom'd to shame ! 


Him, trained to virtue, purest joys await, — 

Earth's purest joys reward each trying pain ! 

Think not the fairy will for aye remain 

Inexorable foe to hearts like thine : 

Still o'er you hangs his viewless hand divine ; 

Do but deserve his grace, and ye his grace obtain.' " 

WiELAND, Oberon (Sotheby's tr.). 

Huon was ready and virilling to undergo any penance which 

would enable him to deliver his beloved Amanda from the isle, 

Huon's and after building her a little hut, within call of the 

penance. (.gll he occupied with the hermit, he spent all his 
time in tilling the soil for their sustenance, and in listening to the 
teachings of the holy man. 

Time passed on. One day Amanda restlessly wandered a little 
way up the mountaii;, and fell asleep in a lovely grotto, which she 
now for the first time discovered. When she awoke from a bliss- 
ful dream she found herself clasping her new-born babe, who, 
during her slumbers, had been cared for by the fairies. This 
child, Huonet, was, of course, a great comfort to Amanda, who 
was devoted to him. 

When the babe was a little more than a year old the aged 
monk died. Huon and Amanda, despairing of release from the 
desert island, were weary of living apart ; and Titania, who fore- 
saw that Oberon would send new misfortunes upon them to punish 
them in case they did not stand the second test, carried little 
Huonet off to fairyland, lest he should suffer for his parents' sins. 

Huon and Amanda, in the mean time, searched frantically for 

the missing babe, fancying it had wandered off into the woods. 

Amanda and During their scarch they became separated, and 

the pirates. Amanda, while walking along the seashore, was 
seized by pirates. They intended to carry her away and sell her 
as a slave to the Sultan. Huon heard her cries of distress, and 
rushed to her rescue ; but in spite of his utmost efforts to join her 
he saw her borne away to the waiting vessel, while he was bound 
to a tree in the woods, and left there to die. 


" Deep in the wood, at distance from the shore, 
They drag their victim, that his loudest word 
Pour'd on the desert air may pass unheard. 
Then bind the wretch, and fasten o'er and o'er 
Arm, leg, and neck, and shoulders, to a tree. 
To heaven he looks in speechless ^gony, 
O'ercome by woe's unutterable weight. 
Thus he — the while, with jocund shout elate 
The crew bear off their prey, and bound along the sea." 

WiELAND, Oheron (Sotheby's tr.). 

Oberon, however, had pity at last upon the unfortunate knight, 
and sent one of his invisible servants, who not only unbound him, 
but transported him, with miraculous rapidity, over land and sea, 
and deposited him at the door of a gardener's house in Tunis. 

After parting from his master at Lepanto, Sherasmin traveled 
on until he came to the gates of the palace with his precious 
casket. Then only did he realize that Charlemagne sherasmin's 
would never credit his tale unless Huon were there search, 
with his bride to vouch for its truth. Instead of entering the 
royal abode he therefore hastened back to Rome, where for two 
months he awaited the arrival of the young couple. Then, sure 
that some misfortune had overtaken them, the faithful Sherasmin 
wandered in pilgrim guise from place to place seeking them, until 
he finally came to Tunis, where Fatima, Amanda's maid, had 
been sold into slavery, and where he sorrowfully learned of his 
master's death. 

To be near Fatima, Sherasmin took a gardener's position in the 
Sultan's palace, and when he opened the door of his humble dwell- 
ing one morning he was overjoyed to find Huon, who had been 
brought there by the messenger of Oberon. An explanation 
ensued, and Huon, under the assumed name of Hassan, became 
Sherasmin's assistant in the Sultan's gardens. 

The pirates, in the mean while, hoping to sell Amanda to the 
Sultan himself, had treated her with the utmost deference ; but as 
they neared the shore of Tunis their vessel suffered shipwreck, 
and all on board perished miserably, except Amanda. She was 


washed ashore at the Sultan's feet. Charmed by her beauty, the 
Sultan conveyed her to his palace, where he would immediately 
have married her had she not told him that she had made a vow 
of chastity which she was bound to keep for two years. 

Huon, unconscious of Amanda's presence, worked in the gar- 
den, where the Sultan's daughter saw him and fell in love with 
^ him. As she failed to win him, she became very jeal- 

and Amanda ous. Soon after this Fatima discovered Amanda's 

reunited. presence in the palace, and informed Huon, who 
made a desperate effort to reach her. This was discovered by the 
jealous princess, and since Huon would not love her, she was de- 
termined that he should not love another. She therefore artfully 
laid her plans, and accused him of a heinous crime, for which 
the Sultan, finding appearances against him, condemned him to 
death. Amanda, who was warned by Fatima of Huon's danger, 
rushed into the Sultan's presence to plead for her husband's life ; 
but when she discovered that she could obtain it only at the price 
of renouncing him forever and maiTying the Sultan, she declared 
that she preferred to die, and elected to be burned with her be- 
loved. The flames were already rising around them both, when 
Oberon, touched by their sufferings and their constancy, suddenly 
appeared, and again hung his horn about Huon's neck. 

The knight hailed this sign of recovered favor with rapture, and, 
putting the magic horn to his lips, showed his magnanimity by 
blowing only a soft note and making all the pagans dance. 

" No sooner had the grateful knight beheld. 
With joyful ardor seen, the ivory horn, 
Sweet pledge of fairy grace, his neck adorn. 
Than with melodious whisper gently swell'd. 
His lip entices forth the sweetest tone 
That ever breath'd through magic ivory blown : 
He scorns to doom a coward race to death. 
' Dance ! till ye weary gasp, depriv'd of breath — 
Huon permits himself this slight revenge alone.'" 

WiELAND, Oberon (Sotheby's tr.). 


While all were dancing, much against their will, Huon and 
Amanda, Sherasmin and Fatima, promptly stepped into the sil- 
very car which Oberon placed at their disposal, and 

'^ ' Huon and 

were rapidly transported to fairyland. There they Amanda in 
found little Huonet in perfect health. Great hap- ^^"yiand. 
piness now reigned, for Titania, having secured the ring which 
Amanda had lost in her struggle with the pirates on the sandy 
shore, had given it back to Oberon. He was propitiated by the 
gift, and as the sight of Huon and Amanda's fidelity had con- 
vinced him that wives could be true, he took Titania back into 
favor, and reinstated her as queen of his realm. 

When Huon and Amanda had sojourned as long as they wished 
in fairyland, they were wafted in Oberon's car to the gates of Paris. 
There Huon arrived just in time to win, at the point of his lance, 
his patrimony of Guienne, which Charlemagne had offered as 
prize at a tournament. Bending low before his monarch, the 
young hero then revealed his name, -presented his wife, gave him 
the golden casket containing the lock of hair and the four teeth, 
and said that he had accomplished his quest. 

" Our hero lifts the helmet from his head; 
And boldly ent'ring, like the god of day, 
His golden ringlets down his armor play. 
All, wond'ring, greet the youth long mourn'd as dead, 
Before the king his spirit seems to stand ! 
Sir Huon with Amanda, hand in hand, 
Salutes the emperor with respectful bow — 
' Behold, obedient to his plighted vow. 
Thy vassal, sovereign liege, returning to thy land ! 

" ' For by the help of Heaven this arm has done 
What thou enjoin'dst — and lo ! before thine eye 
The beard and teeth of Asia's monarch lie. 
At hazard of my life, to please thee, won ; 
And in this fair, by every peril tried, 
The heiress of his throne, my love, my bride ! ' 


He spoke ; and lo ! at once her knight to grace, 

Off falls the veil that hid Amanda's face, 

And a new radiance gilds the hall from side to side." 

WiELAND, Oberon (Sotheby's tr.). 

The young couple, entirely restored to favor, sojourned a short 
time at court and then traveled southward to Guienne, where 
their subjects received them with every demonstration of extrav- 
agant joy. Here they spent the remainder of their lives together 
in happiness and comparative peace. 

According to an earlier version of the story, Esclarmonde, 

whom the pirates intended to convey to the court of her uncle, 

Yvoirin of Montbrand, was wrecked near the palace 

An earlier ' ^ 

version of the of Galafre, King of Tunis, who respected her vow 
^^' of chastity but obstinately refused to give her up 

to her uncle when he claimed her. Huon, delivered from his 
fetters on the island, was borne by Malebron, Oberon's servant, 
to Yvoirin's court, where he immediately offered himself as cham- 
pion to defy Galafre and win back his beloved wife at the point 
of the sword. No sooner did Huon appear in martial array at 
Tunis than Galafre selected Sherasmin (who had also been ship- 
wrecked off his coast, and had thus become his slave) as his 
champion. Huon and Sherasmin met, but, recognizing each other 
after a few moments' struggle, they suddenly embraced, and, 
joining forces, slew the pagans and carried off Esclarmonde and 
Fatima. They embarked upon a swift sailing vessel, and soon 
arrived at Rome, where Huon related his adventures to the Pope, 
who gave him his blessing. 

As they were on their way to Charlemagne's court, Girard, a 
knight who had taken possession of Huon's estates, stole the 
golden casket from Sherasmin, and sent Huon and Esclarmonde 
in chains to Bordeaux. Then, going to court, he informed 
Charlemagne that although Huon had failed in his quest, he 
had dared to return to France. Charlemagne, whose anger had 
not yet cooled, proceeded to Bordeaux, tried Huon, and con- 
demned him to death. But just as the knight was about to perish, 


Oberon appeared, bound the emperor and Girard fast, and only 
consented to restore them to freedom when Charlemagne prom- 
ised to reinstate Huon. 

Oberon then produced the missing casket, revealed Girard's 
treachery, and, after seeing him punished, bore Huon and Esclar- 
monde ofE to fairyland. Huon eventually became ruler of this 
realm in Oberon's stead ; and his daughter, Claretie, whose equally 
marvelous adventures are told at great length in another, but far 
less celebrated, chanson de geste, is represented as the ancestress 
of all the Capetian kings of France. 



The most mystical and spiritual of all the romances of chiv- 
alry is doubtless the legend of the Holy Grail. Rooted in the 
Origin of the mythology of all primitive races is the behef in a 
legend. i^nfj of peace and happiness, a sort of earthly para- 
dise, once possessed by man, but now lost, and only to be attained 
again by the virtuous. The legend of the Holy Grail, which some 
authorities declare was first known in Europe by the Moors, and 
christianized by the Spaniards, was soon introduced into France, 
where Robert de Borron and Chrestien de Troyes wrote lengthy 
poems about it. Other writers took up the same theme, among 
them Walter Map, Archdeacon of Oxford, who connected it with 
the Arthurian legends. It soon became known in Germany, where, 
in the hands of Gottfried von Strassburg, and especially of Wol- 
fram von Eschenbach, it assumed its most perfect and popular 
form. The " Parzival " of Eschenbach also forms the basis of a 
recent work, the much-discussed last opera of the great German 
composer, Wagner.i 

The story of the Grail is somewhat confused, owing to the many 
changes made by the different authors. The account here given, 
while mentioning the most striking incidents of other versions, 
is in general an outline of the "Titurel " and " Parzival " of Von 

When Lucifer was cast out of heaven, one stone of great beauty 
was detached from the marvelous crown which sixty thousand 

1 See Guerber's Stories of the Wagner Opera. 


angels had tendered him. This stone fell upon earth, and from 
it was carved a vessel of great beauty, which came, after many 
ages, into the hands of Joseph of Arimathea. He The Holy 
offered it to the Savior, who made use of it in Graii. 
the Last Supper. When the blood flowed from the Redeemer's 
side, Joseph of Arimathea caught a few drops of it in this won- 
derful vessel ; and, owing to this circumstance, it was thought to 
be endowed with marvelous powers. " Wherever it was there 
were good things in abundance. Whoever looked upon it, even 
though he were sick unto death, could not die that week ; who- 
ever looked at it continually, his cheeks never grew pale, nor his 
hair gray." 

Once a year, on the anniversary of the Savior's death, a white 
dove brought a fresh host down from heaven, and placed it on 
the vessel, which was borne by a host of angels, or by spotless 
virgins. The care of it was at times intrusted to mortals, who, 
however, had to prove themselves worthy of this exalted honor 
by leading immaculate lives. This vessel, called the " Holy Grail," 
remained, after the crucifixion, in the hands of Joseph of Arima- 
thea. The Jews, angry because Joseph had helped to bury Christ, 
cast him into a dungeon, and left him there for a whole year with- 
out food or drink. Their purpose in doing so was to slay Joseph, 
as they had already slain Nicodemus, so that sljould the Romans 
ever ask them to produce Christ's body, they might declare that 
it had been stolen by Joseph of Arimathea. 

The Jews Uttle suspected, however, that Joseph, having the 
Holy Grail with him, could suffer no lack. When Vespasian, the 
Roman emperor, heard the story of Christ's passion, as related 
by a knight who had just returned from the Holy Land, he sent 
a commission to Jerusalem to investigate the matter and bring 
back some holy relic to cure his son Titus of leprosy. 

In due time the ambassadors returned, giving Pilate's version 
of the story, and bringing with them an old woman (known after 
her death as St. Veronica). She produced the cloth with which she 
had wiped the Lord's face, and upon which his likeness had been 


Stamped by miracle. The mere sight of this holy relic sufficed to 
restore Titus, who now proceeded with Vespasian to Jerusalem. 
There they vainly tried to compel the Jews to produce the body 
of Christ, until one of them revealed, under pressure of torture, 
the place where Joseph was imprisoned. Vespasian proceeded in 
person to the dungeon, and was hailed by name by the perfectly 
healthy prisoner. Joseph was set free, but, fearing further per- 
secution from the Jews, soon departed with his sister, Enig^e, and 
her husband, Brons, for a distant land. The pilgrims found a 
place of refuge near Marseilles, where the Holy Grail supplied 
all their needs, until one of them committed a sin. Then divine 
displeasure became manifest by a terrible famine. 

As none knew who had sinned, Joseph was instructed in a vision 
to discover the culprit by the same means with which the Lord 
had revealed the guilt of Judas. Still following divine commands, 
Joseph made a table, and directed Brons to catch a fish. The 
Grail was placed before Joseph's seat at table, where all who im- 
plicitly believed were invited to take a seat. Eleven seats were 
soon occupied, and only Judas's place remained empty. Moses, 
a hypocrite and sinner, attempted to sit there, but the earth 
opened wide beneath him and ingulfed him. 

In another vision Joseph was now informed that the vacancy 
would only be filled on the day of doom. He was also told that 
a similar table would be constructed by Merlin. Here the grand- 
son of Brons would honorably occupy the vacant place, which is 
designated in the legend as the " Siege Perilous," because it proved 
fatal to all for whom it was not intended. 

In the " Great St. Grail," one of the longest poems on this 
theme, there are countless adventures and journeys, " transforma- 
tions of fair females into foul fiends, conversions wholesale and 
individual, allegorical visions, miracles, and portents. Eastern 
splendor and northern weirdness, angelry and deviltry, together 
with abundant fighting and quite a phenomenal amount of swoon- 
ing, which seem to reflect a strange medley of Celtic, pagan, and 
mythological traditions, and Christian legends and mysticism, 


alternate in a kaleidoscopic maze that defies the symmetry which 
modern aesthetic canons associate with every artistic production." 

The Holy Grail was, we are further told, transported by Joseph 
of Arimathea to Glastonbury, where it long remained visible, 
and whence it vanished only when men became too sinful to be 
permitted to retain it in their midst. 

Another legend relates that a rich man from Cappadocia, Ber- 
illus, followed Vespasian to Rome, where he won great estates. 
He was a very virtuous man, and his good quali- 

, . , . , , „ , . , 1 \-^ Birth of Titurel. 

ties were inherited by aU his descendants. One 
of them, called Titurisone, greatly regretted having no son to con- 
tinue his race. When advised by a soothsayer to make a pilgrim- 
age to the holy sepulcher, and there to lay a crucifix of pure gold 
upon the altar, the pious Titurisone hastened to do so. On his 
return he was rewarded for his pilgrimage by the birth of a son, 
called Titurel. 

This dhild, when he had attained manhood, spent all his time in 
warring against the Saracens, as all pagans are called in these met- 
rical romances. The booty he won he gave either to the church 
or to the poor, and his courage and virtue were only equaled 
by his piety and extreme humility. 

One day, when Titurel was walking alone in the woods, he was 
favored by the vision of an angel. The celestial messenger sailed 
down to earth out of the blue, and announced in musical tones 
that the Lord had chosen him to be the guardian of the Holy Grail 
on Montsalvatch (which some authors believe to have been in 
Spain), and that it behooved him to set his house in order and 
obey the voice of God. 

When the angel had floated upward and out of sight, Titurel re- 
turned home. After disposing of all his property, reserving noth- 
ing but his armor and trusty sword, he again returned to the spot 
where he had been favored with the divine message. There he 
saw a mysterious white cloud, which seemed to beckon him on- 
ward. Titurel followed it, passed through vast solitudes and al- 
most impenetrable woods, and eventually began to climb a steep 


mountain, whose ascent at first seemed impossible. Clinging to 
the rocks, and gazing ever ahead at the guiding cloud, Titurel 
came at last to the top of the mountain, where, in a beam of re- 
fulgent light, he beheld the Holy Grail, borne in the air by invisi- 
ble hands. He raised his heart in passionate prayer that he might 
be found worthy to guard the emerald-colored wonder which was 
thus intrusted to his care, and in his rapture hardly heeded the 
welcoming cries of a number of knights in shining armor, who 
hailed him as their king. 

The vision of the Holy Grail was as evanescent as beautiful, 
and soon disappeared; but Titurel, knowing that the spot was 
holy, guarded it with all his might against the infidels, who would 
fain have climbed the mountain. 

After several years had passed without the Holy Grail's coming 
down to earth, Titurel conceived the plan of building a temple 
suitable for its reception. The knights who helped to build and 
afterward guarded this temple were called "Templars." Their 
first effort was to clear the mountain top, which they found was 
one single onyx of enormous size. This they leveled and polished 
until it shone like a mirror, and upon this foundation they pre- 
pared to build their temple. 

As Titurel was hesitating what plan to adopt for the building, 
he prayed for guidance, and when he arose on the morrow he 
Temple of the found the ground plan all traced out and the build- 
Holy Grail. fng materials ready for use. The knights labored 
piously from morning till night, and when they ceased, invisible 
hands continued to work all night. Thus pushed onward, the 
work was soon completed, and the temple rose on the mountain 
top in all its splendor. "The temple itself was one hundred 
fathoms in diameter. Around it were seventy-two chapels of an 
octagonal shape. To every pair of chapels there was a tower six 
stories high, approachable by a winding stair on the outside. In 
the center stood a tower twice as big as the others, which rested 
on arches. The vaulting was of blue sapphire, and in the center 
was a plate of emerald, with the lamb and the banner of the cross 


ill enamel. All the altar stones were of sapphire, as symbols of 
the propitiation of sins. Upon the inside of the cupola surmount- 
ing the temple, the sun and moon were represented in diamonds 
and topazes, and shed a light as of day even in the darkness of 
the night. The windows were of crystal, beryl, and other trans- 
parent stones. The floor was of translucent crystal, under which 
all the fishes of the sea were carved out of onyx, just like life. 
The towers were of precious stones inlaid with gold ; their roofs 
of gold and blue enamel. Upon every tower there was a crystal 
cross, and upon it a golden eagle with expanded wings, which, at 
a distance, appeared to be flying. At the summit of the main 
tower was an immense carbuncle, which served, Uke a star, to 
guide the Templars thither at night. In the center of the build- 
ing, under the dome, was a miniature representation of the whole, 
and in this the holy vessel was kept." 

When all the work was finished, the temple was solemnly con- 
secrated, and as the priests chanted the psalms a sweet perfume 
filled the air, and the holy vessel was seen to ghde Descent of the 
down on a beam of light. While it hovered just **°'y Grail, 
above the altar the wondering assembly heard the choir of the 
angels singing the praises of the Most High. The Holy Grail, 
which had thus come down upon earth, was faithfully guarded 
by Titurel and his knights, who were fed and sustained by its 
marvelous power, and whose wounds were healed as soon as they 
gazed upon it. From time to time it also delivered a divine mes- 
sage, which appeared in letters of fire inscribed about its rim, and 
which none of the Templars ever ventured to disregard. 

By virtue of the miraculous preservative influence of the Holy 
Grail, Titurel seemed but forty when he was in reality more than 
four hundred years old. His every thought had been so engrossed 
by the care of the precious vessel that he was somewhat surprised 
when he read upon its rim a luminous command to marry, so that 
his race might not become extinct. When the knights of the 
temple had been summoned, and had all perused the divine com- 
mand, they began to consider where a suitable helpmate could be 


found for their beloved king. They soon advised him to woo 
Richoude, the daughter of a Spaniard. An imposing embassy- 
was sent to the maiden, who, being piously inclined, immediately 
consented to the marriage. 

Richoude was a faithful wife for twenty years, and when she 
died she left two children, — a son, Frimoutel, and a daughter, 
Richoude, — to comfort the sorrowing Titurel for her loss. These 
children both married in their turn, and Frimoutel had two sons, 
Amfortas and Trevrezent, and three daughters, Herzeloide, Josi- 
ane, and Repanse de Joie. As these children grew up, Titurel 
became too old to bear the weight of his armor, and spent all his 
days in the temple, where he finally read on the Holy Grail a 
command to anoint Frimoutel king. Joyfully the old man obeyed, 
for he had long felt that the defense of the Holy Grail should be 
intrusted to a younger man than he. 

Although he renounced the throne in favor of his son, Titurel 
lived on, witnessed the marriage of Josiarie, and mourned for her 
Birth of Parzi- when she died in giving birth to a little daughter, 
v^'- called Sigune. This child, being thus deprived of a 

mother's care, was intrusted to Herzeloide, who brought her up 
with Tchionatulander, the orphaned son of a friend. Herzeloide 
married a prince named Gamuret, and became the happy mother 
of Parzival, who, however, soon lost his father in a terrible battle. 

Fearful lest her son, when grown up, should want to follow his 
father's example, and make war against even the most formi- 
dable foes, Herzeloide carried him off into the forest of Soltane 
(which some authors locate in Brittany), and there brought him 
up in complete solitude and ignorance. 

" The child her falling tears bedew ; 
No wife was ever found more true. 
She teemed with joy and uttered sighs ; 
And tears midst laughter filled her eyes. 
Her heart deUghted in his birth ; 
In sorrow deep was drowned her mirth." 

Wolfram von Eschenbach, Parzival (Dippold's tr.). 



While she was Kving there, Frimoutel, weary of the dull life on 
Montsalvatch, went out into the world, and died of a lance wound 
when far away from home. Amfortas, his son, who Amfortas-s 
was now crowned in obedience to the command wound, 
of the Holy Grail, proved equally restless, and went out also in 
search of adventures. Like his father, he too was wounded by 
a poisoned lance ; but, instead of dying, he lived to return to the 
Holy Grail. But since his wound had not been received in defense 
of the holy vessel, it never healed, and caused him untold suffering. 

Titurel, seeing this suffering, prayed ardently for his grandson's 
release from the pain which imbittered every moment of his life, 
and was finally informed by the glowing letters on the rim of the 
Holy Grail that a chosen hero would climb the mountain aind in- 
quire the cause of Amfortas's pain. At this question the evil spell 
would be broken, Amfortas healed, and the newcomer appointed 
king and guardian of the Holy Grail. 

This promise of ultimate cure saved Amfortas from utter de- 
spair, and all the Templars lived in constant anticipation of the 
coming hero, and of the question which would put an end to the 
torment which they daily witnessed. 

Parzival, in the mean while, was growing up in the forest, 
where he amused himself with a bow and arrow of his own manu- 
facture. But when for the first time he killed a Parzivai's early 
tiny bird, and saw it lying hmp and helpless in his "f'- 

hand, he brought it tearfully to his mother and inquired what it 
meant. In answering him she, for the first time also, mentioned 
the name of God ; and when he eagerly questioned her about the 
Creator, she said to him : " Brighter is God than e'en the bright- 
est day ; yet once he took the form and face of man." 

Thus brought up in complete ignorance, it is no wonder that 
when young Parzival encountered some knights in brilliant armor 
in the forest, he fell down and offered to worship them. Amused 
at the lad's simpHcity, the knights told him all about the gay world 
of chivaby beyond the forest, and advised him to ride to Arthur's 
court, where, if worthy, he would receive the order of knighthood, 


and perchance be admitted to the Round Table. Beside himself 
with joy at hearing all these marvelous things, and eager to set 
out immediately, Parzival returned to his mother to relate what he 
had seen, and to implore her to give him a horse, that he might 
ride after the knights. 

" ' I saw four men, dear mother mine ; 
Not brighter is the Lord divine. 
They spoke to me of chivalry ; 
Through Arthur's power of royalty, 
In knightly honor well arrayed, 
I shall receive the accolade.' " 

Wolfram von Eschenbach, Parzival (Dippold's tr.). 

The mother, finding herself unable to detain him any longer, 
reluctantly consented to his departure, and, hoping that ridicule 
and lack of success would soon drive him back to her, prepared for 
him the motley garb of a fool and gave him a very sorry nag to ride. 

" The boy, silly yet brave indeed, 
Oft from his mother begged a steed. 
That in her heart she did lament ; 
She thought : ' Him must I make content, 
Yet must the thing an evil be.' 
Thereafter further pondered she : 
' The folk are prone to ridicule. 
My child the garments of a fool 
Shall on his shining body wear. 
If he be scoffed and beaten there, 
Perchance he'll come to me again.' " 

Wolfram von Eschenbach, /*ffrz/z/rt/ (Bayard Taylor's tr.). 

Thus equipped, his mind well stored with all manner of un- 
practical advice given by his mother in further hopes of making 
Parzivai's jour- ^ worldly Career impossible for him, the young hero 

ney into the Set out. As he rode away from home, his heart 

™°'' ■ was filled with regret at leaving and with an ardent 

desire to seek adventures abroad,— conflicting emotions which he 

experienced for the first time in his life. Herzeloide accompanied 

her son part way, kissed him good-by, and, as his beloved form 


disappeared from view in the forest paths, her heart broke and 
she breathed her last! 

Parzival rode onward and soon came to a meadow, in which 
some tents were pitched. He saw a beautiful lady asleep in one 
of these tents, and, dismounting, he wakened her with a kiss, thus 
obeying one of his mother's injunctions — to kiss every fair lady 
he met. To his surprise, however, the lady seemed indignant; 
so he tried to pacify her by telling her that he had often thus 
saluted his mother. Then, slipping the bracelet from off her arm, 
and carrying it away as a proof that she was not angry, he rode 
on. Lord Orilus, the lady's husband, hearing from her that a 
youth had kissed her, flew into a towering rage, and rode speedily 
away, hoping to overtake the impudent varlet and punish him. 

Parzival, in the mean while, had journeyed on, and, passing 
through the forest, had seen a maiden weeping over the body of 
her slain lover. In answer to his inquiries she told him that she 
was his cousin, Sigune, and that the dead man, Tchionatulander, 
had been killed in trying to fulfill a trifling request— to recover 
her pet dog, which had been stolen. Parzival promised to avenge 
Tchionatulander as soon as possible, and to remember that the 
name of the murderer was Orilus. 

Next he came to a river, where he was ferried across, and re- 
paid the boatman by giving him the bracelet he had taken from 
Orilus's wife. Then, hearing that Arthur was holding his court 
at Nantes, he proceeded thither without further delay. 

On entering the city, Parzival encountered the Red Knight, 
who mockingly asked him where he was going. The unabashed 
youth immediately retorted, " To Arthur's court to ask him for 
your arms and steed ! " 

A Httle farther on the youth's motley garb attracted much at- 
tention, and the town boys made fun of him until Iwanet, one of 
the king's squires, came to inquire the cause of the Parzivai at 
tumult. He took Parzival under his protection, Arthur's court, 
and conducted him to the great hall, where, if we are to believe 
some accounts, Parzival boldly presented himself on horseback. 


The i>ight of the gay company so dazzled the inexperienced youth 
that he wonderingly inquired why there were so many Arthurs. 
When Iwanet told him that the wearer of the crown was the sole 
king, Parzival boldly stepped up to him and asked for the arms 
and steed of the Red Knight. 

Arthur wonderingly gazed at the youth, and then repUed that he 
could have them provided he could win them. This was enough. 
Parzival sped after the knight, overtook him, and loudly bade him 
surrender weapons and steed. The Red Knight, thus challenged, 
began to fight; but Parzival, notwithstanding his inexperience, 
wielded his spear so successfully that he soon slew his opponent. 
To secure the steed was an easy matter, but how to remove the 
armor the youth did not know. By good fortune, however, Iwa- 
net soon came up and helped Parzival to don the armor. He 
put it on over his motley garb, which he would not set aside be- 
cause his mother had made it for him. 

Some time after, Parzival came to the castle of Gumemanz, a 
noble knight, with whom he remained for some time. Here he 
received valuable instructions in all a knight need know. When 
Parzival left this place, about a year later, he was an accomplished 
knight, clad as beseemed his calling, and ready to fulfill all the 
duties which chivalry imposed upon its votaries. 

He soon heard that Queen Conduiramour was hard pressed, 
in her capital of Belripar, by an unwelcome suitor. As he had 
Parzival and pledged his word to defend all ladies in distress, 
Conduiramour. Parzival immediately set out to rescue this queen. 
A series of brilUant single fights disposed. of the besiegers, and 
the citizens of Belripar, to show their gratitude to their deliverer, 
offered him the hand of their queen, Conduiramour, which he 
gladly accepted. But Parzival, even in this new home, could 
not forget his sorrowing mother, and he soon left his wife to go 
in search of Herzeloide, hoping to comfort her. He promised 
his wife that he would retm-n soon, however, and would bring 
his mother to Belripar to share their joy. In the course of this 
journey homeward Parzival came to a lake, where a richly 


dressed fisherman, in answer to his inquiry, directed him to a 
neighboring castle where he might find shelter. 

Although Parzival did not know it, he had come to the temple 
and castle on Montsalvatch. The drawbridge was immediately- 
lowered at his call, and richly clad servants bade castie of the 
him welcome with joyful mien. They told him HoiyOraii. 
that he had long been expected, and after arraying him in a jew- 
eled garment, sent by Queen Repanse da Joie, they conducted him 
into a large, brilliantly illumined hall. There four hundred knights 
were seated on soft cushions, before small tables each laid for 
four guests ; and as they saw him enter a flash of joy passed over 
their grave and melancholy faces. The high seat was occupied 
by a man wrapped in flu's, who was evidently suffering from some 
painful disease. He made a sign to Parzival to draw near, gave 
him a seat beside him, and presented him with a sword of exqui- 
site workmanship. To Parzival's surprise this man bade him 
welcome also, and repeated that he had long been expected. 
The young knight, amazed by all he heard and saw, remained 
silent, for he did not wish to seem inquisitive, — a failing un- 
worthy of a knight. Suddenly the great doors opened, and a 
servant appeared bearing the bloody head of a lance, with which 
he silently walked around the hall, while all gazed upon it and 
groaned aloud. 

The servant had scarcely vanished when the doors again opened, 
and beautiful virgins came marching in, two by two. They bore 
an embroidered cushion, an ebony stand, and sundry other arti- 
cles, which they laid before the fur-clad king. Last of all came 
the beautiful maiden, Repanse de Joie, bearing a glowing vessel ; 
and as she entered and laid it before the king, Parzival heard the 
assembled knights whisper that this was the Holy Grail. 

" Now after them advanced the Queen, 
With countenance of so bright a sheen. 
They all imagined day would dawn. 
One saw the maiden was clothed on 



With muslin stuffs of Araby. 
On a green silk cushion she 
The pearl of Paradise did bear. 

The blameless Queen, proud, pure, and calm, 
Before the host put down the GraU ; 
And Percival, so runs the tale, 
To gaze upon her did not fail, 
"Who thither bore the Holy Grail." 

Wolfram von Eschenbach, Parzival (Bayard Taylor's tr.). 

The maidens then slowly retired, the knights and squires drew 
near, and now from the shining vessel streamed forth a supply 
of the daintiest dishes and richest wines, each guest being served 
with the viands which he liked best. All ate sadly and in silence, 
while Parzival wondered what it might all mean, yet remained 
mute. The meal ended, the sufferer rose from his seat, gazed 
reproachfully at the visitor, who, by asking a question, could have 
saved him such pain, and slowly left the room, uttering a deep 

With angry glances the knights also left the hall, and sad-faced 
servants conducted Parzival past a sleeping room, where they 
showed him an old white-haired man who lay in a troubled sleep. 
' Parzival wondered still more, but did not venture to ask who it 
might be. Next the servants took him to an apartment where he 
could spend the night. The tapestry hangings of this room were 
all embroidered with gorgeous pictures. Among them the young 
hero noticed one in particular, because it represented his host 
borne down to the ground by a spear thrust into his bleeding 
side. Parzival's curiosity was even greater than before ; but, 
scorning to ask a servant what he had not ventured to demand 
of the master, he went quietly to bed, thinking that he would try 
to secure an explanation on the morrow. 

When he awoke he found himself alone. No servant answered 
his call. All the doors were fastened except those which led out- 
side, where he found his steed awaiting him. When he had passed 


the drawbridge it rose up slowly behind him, and a voice called 
out from the tower, "Thou art accursed; for thou hadst been 
chosen to do a great work, which thou hast left undone ! " Then 
looking upward, Parzival saw a horrible . face gazing after him 
with a fiendish grin, and making a gesture as of malediction. 

At the end of that day's journey, Parzival came to a lonely 
cell in the desert, where he found Sigune weeping over a shrine 
in which lay Tchionatulander's embalmed remains. 
She too received him with curses, and revealed to 
him that by one sympathetic question only he might have ended 
Amfortas's prolonged pain, broken an evil spell, and won for him- 
self a glorious crown. 

Horrified, now that he knew what harm he had done, Parzival 
rode away, feeling as if he were indeed accursed. His greatest 
wish was to return to the mysterious castle and atone for his re- 
missness by asking the question which would release the king from 
further pain. But alas! the castle had vanished; and our hwo 
was forced to journey from place to place, seeking diligently, and 
meeting with many adventures on the way. 

At times the longing to give up the quest and return home to 
his young wife was almost unendurable. His thoughts were ever 
with her, and the poem relates that even a drop of blood fallen 
on the snow reminded him most vividly of the dazzling complex- 
ion of Conduiramour, and of her sorrow when he departed. 

" ' Conduiramour, thine image is 
Here in the snow now dyed with red 
And in the blood on snowy bed. 
Conduiramour, to them compare 
Thy forms of grace and beauty rare. ' " 

Wolfram von Eschenbach, Parzival (Dippold's tr.). 

Although exposed to countless temptations, Parzival remained 
true to his wife as he rode from place to place, constantly seek- 
ing the Holy Grail. His oft-reiterated questions concerning it 
caused him to be considered a madman or a fool by all he met. 

In the course of his journeys, he encountered a lady in chains, 


led by a knight who seemed to take pleasure in torturing her. 
Taught by Gurnemanz to rescue all ladies in distress, Parzival 
challenged and defeated this knight. Then only did he discover 
that it was Sir Orilus, who had led his wife about in chains to 
punish her for accepting a kiss from a strange youth. Of course 
Parzival now hastened to give an explanation of the whole affair, 
and the defeated knight, at his request, promised to treat his wife 
with all kindness in future. 

As Parzival had ordered all the knights whom he had defeated 
to journey immediately to Arthur's court and tender him their serv- 
ices, the king had won many brave warriors. He was so pleased 
by these constant arrivals, and so delighted at the repeated ac- 
counts of Parzival's valor, that he became very anxious to see 
him once more. 

To gratify this wish several knights were sent in search of the 

wanderer, and when they finally found him they bade him come 

Parzival to court. Parzival obeyed, was knighted by Arthur's 

knighted. q^jj hand, and, according to some accounts, occu- 
pied the " Siege Perilous " at the Round Table. Other versions 
state, however, that just as he was about to take this seat the witch 
Kundrie, a messenger of the Holy Grail, appeared in the hall. 
She vehemently denounced him, related how sorely he had failed 
in his duty, and cursed him, as the gate keeper had done, for his 
lack of sympathy. Thus reminded of his dereliction, Parzival 
immediately left the hall, to renew the quest which had already 
lasted for many months. He was closely followed by Gawain, 
one of Arthur's knights, who thought that Parzival had been too 
harshly dealt with. 

Four years now elapsed,— four years of penance and suffering 

for Parzival, and of brilliant fighting and thrilling adventures for 

Gawain. Seeking Parzival, meeting many whom 

Gawain's quest. ,,,,,,, 

he had helped or defeated, Gawam journeyed from 
land to land, until at last he decided that his quest would end 
sooner if he too sought the Holy Grail, the goal of all his friend's 


On the way to Montsalvatch Gawain met a beautiful woman, 
to whom he made a declaration of love ; but she merely answered 
that those who loved her must serve her, ^nd bade him fetch her 
palfrey from a neighboring garden. The gardener told him that 
this lady was the Duchess Orgueilleuse ; that her beauty had fired 
many a knight ; that many had died for her sake ; and that Am- 
fortas, King of the Holy Grail, had braved the poisoned spear 
which wounded him, only to win her favor. Gawain, undeterred 
by this warning, brought out the lady's palfrey, helped h er to mount, 
and followed her submissively through many lands. Everywhere 
they went the proud lady stirred up some quarrel, and always 
called upon Gawain to fight the enemies whom she had thus wan- 
tonly made. After much wandering, Gawain and his ladylove 
reached the top of a hill, whence they could look across a valley 
to a gigantic castle, perched on a rock, near which was a pine 
tree. Orgueilleuse now informed Gawain that the castle belonged 
to her mortal enemy, Gramoflaus. She bade him bring her a twig 
of the tree, and conquer the owner of the castle, who would chal- 
lenge him as soon as he touched it, and promised that if he 
obeyed her exactly she would be his faithful wife. 

Gawain, emboldened by this promise, dashed down into the 
valley, swam across the moat, plucked a branch from the tree, and 
accepted the challenge which Gramoflaus promptly KUngsor-s 
offered. The meeting was appointed for eight castie. 
days later, in front of Klingsor's castle, whither Gawain imme- 
diately proceeded with the Lady Orgueilleuse. On the way she 
told him that this castle, which faced her father's, was occupied 
by a magician who kept many noble ladies in close confinement, 
and had even cruelly laden them with heavy chains. 

Gawain, on hearing this, vowed that he would punish the ma- 
gician ; and, having seen Orgueilleuse safely enter her ancestral 
home, he crossed the river and rode toward KHngsor's castle. As 
night drew on the windows were brilliantly illumined, and at each 
one he beheld the pallid, tear-stained faces of some of the captives, 
whose years ranged from early childhood to withered old age. 


Calling for admittance at this castle, Gawain was allowed to 
enter, but, to his surprise, found hall and court deserted. He 
wandered from room to room, meeting no one ; and, weary of his 
vain search, prepared at last to occupy a comfortable couch in 
one of the chambers. To his utter amazement, however, the bed 
retreated as he advanced, until, impatient at this trickery, he sprang 
boldly upon it. A moment later a rain of sharp spears and dag- 
gers fell upon his couch, but did him no harm, for he had not re- 
moved his heavy armor. When the rain of weapons was over, a 
gigantic peasant, armed with a huge club, stalked into the room, 
closely followed by a fierce lion. When the peasant perceived 
that the knight was not dead, as he expected, he beat a hasty re- 
treat, leaving the lion to attack him alone. 

In spite of the size and fury of the lion, Gawain defended him- 
self so bravely that he finally slew the beast, which was Khngsor 
in disguise. As the monster expired the spell was broken, the 
captives were released, and the exhausted Gawain was tenderly 
cared for by his mother and sister Itonie, who were among those 
whom his courage had set free. The news of this victory was 
immediately sent to Arthur, who now came to witness the battle 
between Gawain and a champion who was to appear for Gramo- 

Gawain's strength and courage were about to give way before 
the stranger's terrible onslaught, when Itonie implored the latter 
to spare Gawain, whose name and valor were so well known. At 
the sound of this name the knight sheathed his sword, and, raising 
his visor, revealed the sad but beautiful countenance of Parzival. 

The joy of reunion over, Parzival remained there long enough 
to witness the marriage of Gawain and Orgueilleuse, and of Itonie 
and Gramoflaus, and to be solemnly admitted to the Round Table. 
Still, the general rejoicing could not dispel his sadness or the 
recollection of Amfortas and his grievous wound ; and as soon as 
possible Parzival again departed, humbly praying that he might 
at last find the Holy Grail, and right the wrong he had uncon- 
sciously done. 


Some months later, exhausted by constant journeys, Parzival 
painfully dragged himself to a hermit's hut. There he learned 
that the lonely penitent was Trevrezent, the brother parzivai and the 
of Amfortas, who, having also preferred worldly hermit, 
pleasures to the service of the'Holy Grail, had accompanied him 
on his fatal excursion. When Trevrezent saw his brother sorely 
wounded, he repented of his sins, and, retiring into the woods, spent 
his days and nights in penance and prayer. He told Parzival of 
the expected stranger, whose question would break the evil spell, 
and related how grievously he and all the Templars had been dis- 
appointed when such a man had actually come and gone, but with- 
out fulfilling their hopes. Parzival then penitently confessed that 
it was he who had thus disappointed them, related his sorrow and 
ceaseless quest, and told the story of his early youth and adven- 
tures. Trevrezent, on hearing his guest's name, exclaimed that 
they must be uncle and nephew, as his sister's name was Herze- 
loide. He then informed Parzival of his mother's death, and, 
after blessing him and giving him some hope that sincere repent- 
ance would sometime bring its own reward, allowed him to con- 
tinue his search for the Holy Grail. 

Soon after this meeting Parzival encountered a knight, who, 
laying lance in rest, challenged him to fight. In one of the pauses 
of the battle he learned that his brave opponent 

. Fierefiss. 

was his stepbrother, Fierefiss, whom he joyfully 
embraced, and who now followed him on his almost endless quest. 
At last they came to a mountain, painfully climbed its steep side, 
and, after much exertion, found themselves in front of a castle, 
which seemed strangely familiar to Parzival. 

The doors opened, willing squires waited upon both brothers, 
and led them into the great hall, where the pageant already de- 
scribed was repeated. When Queen Repanse de Joie entered 
bearing the Holy Grail, Parzival, mindful of his former failure to 
do the right thing, humbly prayed aloud for divine guidance to 
bring about the promised redemption. An angel voice no w seemed 
to answer, " Ask! " Then Parzival bent kindly over the wounded 


king, and gently inquired what ailed him. At those words the 
spell was broken, and a long cry of joy arose as Amfortas, strong 
and well, sprang to his feet. 

A very aged man, Parzival's great-grandfather, Titurel, now 
drew near, bearing the crown, which he placed on the young hero's 
head, as he hailed him as guardian and defender of the Holy 
Grail. This cry was taken up by all present, and even echoed by 
the angeUc choir. 

" ' Hail to thee, Percival, king of the Grail ! 
Seemingly lost forever, 
Now thou art blessed forever. 
Hail to thee, Percival, king of the Grail ! ' " 

Wolfram von Eschenbach (McDowall's tr.). 

The doors now opened wide once more to admit Conduira- 
mour and her twin sons, summoned thither by the power of the 
Holy Grail, that Parzival's happiness might be complete. AU the 
witnesses of this happy reunion were flooded with the light of the 
Holy Grail, except Fierefiss, who, being a Moor and a pagan, still 
remained in outer darkness. These miracles, however, converted 
him to the Christian faith, and made him beg for immediate bap- 
tism. The christening was no sooner performed than he too be- 
held and was illumined by the holy vase. Fierefiss, now a true 
beHever, married Repanse de Joie, and they were the parents of 
a son named John, who became a noted warrior, and was the 
founder of the historic order of the Knights Templars. 

Titurel, having lived to see the recovery of his son, blessed all 
his descendants, told them that Sigune had joined her lover's 
spirit in the heavenly abode, and, passing out of the great hall, 
was never seen again ; and the witch Kundrie died of joy. 

Another version of the legend of the Holy Grail relates that 
Parzival, having cured his uncle, went to Arthur's court. There 
he remained until Amfortas died, when he was called back to 
Montsalvatch to inherit his possessions, among which was the 
Holy Grail. Arthur and all the knights of the Round Table were 


present at his coronation, and paid him a yearly visit. When he 
died, " the Sangreal, the sacred lance, and the silver trencher or 
paten which covered the Grail, were carried up to the holy heav- 
ens in presence of the attendants, and since that time have never 
anywhere been seen on earth." 

Other versions relate that Arthur and his knights sought the 
Holy Grail in vain, for their hearts were not pure enough to be- 
hold it. Still others declare that the sacred vessel was conveyed 
to the far East, and committed to the care of Prester John. 

The legend of Lohengrin, which is connected with the Holy 
Grail, is in outline as follows : 

Parzival and Conduiramour dwelt in the castle of the Holy 
Grail. When their sons had grown to man's estate, Kardeiss, the 
elder, became ruler of his mother's kingdom of Bel- 
ripar, while Lohengrin, the younger, remained in 
the service of the Holy Grail, which was now borne into the hall 
by his young sister, Aribadale, Repanse de Joie having married. 

Whenever a danger tlireatened, or when the services of one of 
the knights were required, a silver bell rang loudly, and the letters 
of flame around the rim of the holy vessel revealed the nature of 
the deed to be performed. One day the sound of the silvery bell 
was heard pealing ever louder and louder, and when the knights 
entered the hall, they read on the vase that Lohengrin had been 
chosen to defend the rights of an innocent person, and would 
be conveyed to his destination by a swan. As the knights of 
the Grail never disputed its commands, the young man immedi- 
ately donned the armor of silver which Amfortas had worn, and, 
bidding farewell to his mother and sister, left the temple. Par- 
zival, his father, accompanied him to the foot of the mountain, 
where, swimming gracefully over the smooth waters of the lake, 
they saw a snowy swan drawing a little boat after her. 

Lohengrin received a horn from his father, who bade him 
sound it thrice on arriving at his destination, and an equal num- 
ber of times when he wished to return to Montsalvatch. Then 
he also reminded him that a servant of the Grail must reveal 


neither his name nor his origin unless asked to do so, and that, 
having once made himself known, he was bound to return with- 
out delay to the holy mountain. 

Thus reminded of the custom of all the Templars, Lohengrin 
sprang into the boat, and was rapidly borne away, to the sound 
of mysterious music. 

While Lohengrin was swiftly wafted over the waters. Else, 

Duchess of Brabant, spent her days in tears. She was an orphan, 

and, as she possessed great wealth and extensive 

Else of Brabant. , , . , i i j 

lands, many were anxious to secure her hand. 
Among these suitors her guardian, Frederick of Telramund, was 
the most importunate ; and when he saw that she would never 
consent to marry him, he resolved to obtain her inheritance in a 
different way. 

One day, while Else was wandering alone in the forest, she 
rested for a moment under a tree, where she dreamed that a radi- 
ant knight came to greet her, and offered her a little bell, saying 
that she need but ring it whenever she required a champion. The 
maiden awoke, and as she opened her eyes a falcon came gently 
sailing down from the sky and perched upon her shoulder. See- 
ing that he wore a tiny bell like the one she had noticed in her 
dream. Else unfastened it ; and as the falcon flew away, she hung 
it on her rosary. 

A few days later Else was in prison, for Frederick of Telramund 
had accused her of a great crime. He said that she had received 
the attentions of a man beneath her, or, according to another 
version, that she had been guilty of the murder of her brother. 
Henry the Fowler, Emperor of Germany, hearing of this accusa- 
tion, came to Cleves, where, as the witnesses could not agree, he 
ordered that the matter should be settled by a judicial duel. 

Frederick of Telramund, proud of his strength, challenged any 
man to prove him mistaken at the point of the sword. But no 
champion appeared to fight for Else, who, kneeling in her cell, 
beat her breast with her rosary, until the little silver bell attached 
to it rang loudly as she fervently prayed, " O Lord, send me a 



champion." The faint tinkling of the bell floated out of the wiii- 
dow, and was wafted away to Montsalvatch. It grew louder and 
louder the farther it traveled, and its sound called the knights 
into the temple, where Lohengrin received his orders from the 
Holy Grail. 

The day appointed for the duel dawned, and just as the heralds 
sounded the last call for Else's champion to appear, the swan 
boat glided up the Rhine, and Lohengrin sprang into the lists, 
after thrice blowing his magic horn. 

With a God-sent champion opposed to a liar, the issue of the 
combat could not long remain doubtful. Soon Frederick of Tel- 
ramund lay in the dust and confessed his guilt. Else rescued by 
while the people hailed the Swan Knight as victor. Lohengrin. 
Else, touched by his prompt response to her appeal, and won by 
his passionate wooing, then consented to become his wife, with- 
out even knowing his name. Their nuptials were celebrated at 
Antwerp, whither the emperor went with them and witnessed their 

Lohengrin had cautioned Else that she must never ask his 
name ; but she wished to show that he was above the people who, 
envying his lot, sought to injure him by circulating malicious 
rumors, so she finally asked the fatal question. Regretfully Lo- 
hengrin led her into the great hall, where, in the presence of the 
assembled knights, he told her that he was Lohengrin, son of 
Parzival, the guardian of the Holy Grail. Then, embracing her 
tenderly, he told her that " love cannot live without faith," and 
that he must now leave her and return to the holy mountain. 
When he had thrice blown his magic horn, the sound of faint mu- 
sic again heralded the approach of the swan ; Lohengrin sprang 
into the boat, and soon vanished, leaving Else alone. 

Some versions of the story relate that she did not long survive 
his departure, but that her released spirit followed him to Mont- 
salvatch, where they dwelt happy forever. Other accounts, how- 
ever, aver that when Lohengrin vanished Else's brother returned 
to champion her cause and prevent her ever being molested again. 



As Saintsbury so ably expressed it, " The origin of the legends 
of King Arthur, of the Round Table, of the Holy Grail, and of 
all the adventures and traditions connected with these centers, is 
one of the most intricate questions in the history of mediasval 
literature." Owing to the loss of many ancient manuscripts, the 
real origin of all these tales may never be discovered ; and whether 
the legends owe their birth to Celtic, Breton, or Welsh poetry we 
may never know, as the authorities fail to agree. These tales, 
apparently almost unknown before the twelfth century, soon be- 
came so popular that in the course of the next two centuries they 
had given birth to more than a dozen poems and prose romances, 
whence Malory drew the materials for his version of the story 
of King Arthur. Nennius, Geoffrey of Monmouth, Walter Map, 
Chrestien de Troyes, Robert de Borron, Gottfried von Strassburg, 
Wolfram von Eschenbach, Hartmann von Aue, Tennyson, Mat- 
thew Arnold, Swinburne, and Wagner have all written of these 
legends in turn, and to these writers we owe the most noted ver- 
sions of the tales forming the Arthurian cycle. They include, 
besides the story of Arthur himself, an account of Merlin, of 
Lancelot, of Parzival, of the love of Tristan and Iseult, and of the 
quest of the Holy Grail. 

The majority of these works were written in French, which was 
the court language of England in the mediaeval ages ; but the 
story was " Englished " by Malory in the fourteenth century. 


MERLIN. 205 

In every European language there are versions of these stories, 
which interested all hearers alike, and which exerted a softening 
influence upon the rude customs of the age, "communicated a 
romantic spirit to literature," and taught all men courtesy. 

The first of these romances is that of Merlin the enchanter, in 
very old French, ascribed to Robert de Borron. The following 
outline of the story is modified and supplemented 
from other sources. The real Merlin is said to 
have been a bard of the fifth century, and is supposed to have 
served the British chief Ambrosius AureUanus, and then King '' 
Arthvu. This Merlin lost his reason after the battle of Sol way 
Firth, broke his sword, and retired into the forest, where he was 
soon after found dead by a river bank. 

The mythical Merlin had a more exciting and interesting career, 
however. King Constans, who drove Hengist from England, was 
the father of three sons, — Constantine, Aurelius Ambrosius, and 
Uther Pendragon. When dying he left the throne to his eldest 
son, Constantine, who chose Vortigern as his prime minister. 
Shortly after Constantine's accession, Hengist again invaded Eng- 
land, and Constantine, deserted by his minister, was treacherously 
slain. In reward for his defection at this critical moment, Vorti- 
gern was offered the crown, which he accepted, and which he 
hoped to retain, although Constans's two other sons, who, accord- 
ing to another version of the story, were called Uther and Pen- 
dragon, were still in existence. 

To defend himself against any army which might try to deprive 
him of the throne, Vortigern resolved to build a great fortress on 
the Salisbury plains. But, although the masons worked dihgently 
by day, and built walls wide and thick, they always found them 
overturned in the morning. The astrologers, when consulted in 
reference to this strange occurrence, declared that the walls would 
not stand until the ground had been watered with the blood of a 
child who could claim no human father. 

Five years previous to this prediction, the demons, seeing that 
so many souls escaped them owing to the redemption procured by 


a child of divine origin, thought that they could regain lost ground 
by engendering a demon child upon a human virgin. A beautiful, 
pious maiden was chosen for this purpose ; and as she daily went 
to confess her every deed and thought to a holy man, Blaise, he 
soon discovered the plot of the demons, and resolved to frus- 
trate it. 

By his advice the girl, instead of being immediately put to 

death, as the law required, was locked up in a tower, where she 

. , , ^ gave birth to her son. Blaise, the priest, more 

Birth of the ° j i. 

mythical watchful than the demons, no sooner heard of the 
Merlin. child's birth than he hastened to baptize him, giv- 
ing him the name of Merlin. The holy rite annulled the evil pur- 
pose of the demons, but, owing to his uncanny origin, the child 
was gifted with all manner of strange powers, of which he made 
use on sundry occasions. 

" To him 
Great light from God gave sight of all things dim, 
And wisdom of all wondrous things, to say 
What root should bear what fruit of night or day ; 
And sovereign speech and counsel above man : 
Wherefore his youth like age was wise and wan, 
And his age sorrowful and fain to sleep." 

Swinburne, Tristram of Lyonesse- 

The child thus baptized soon gave the first proof of his mar- 
velous power ; for, when his mother embraced him and declared 
that she must soon die, he comforted her by speaking aloud and 
promising to prove her innocent of all crime. The trial took 
place soon after this occurrence, and although Merlin was but a 
few days old, he sat up boldly in his mother's lap and spoke so 
forcibly to the judges that he soon secured her acquittal. Once 
when he was five years old, while playing in the street, he saw 
the messengers of Vortigern. Warned by his prophetic instinct 
that they were seeking him, he ran to meet them, and offered to 
accompany them to the king. On the way thither he saw a 
youth buying shoes, and laughed aloud. When questioned con- 

MERLIN. 207 

ceming the cause of his mirth, he predicted that the youth would 
die within a few hours. 

" Then said Merlin, ' See ye nought 
That young man, that hath shoon bought, 
And strong leather to do hem clout [patch]. 
And grease to smear hem all about ? 
He weeneth to Uve hem to wear : 
But, by my soul, I dare well swear, 
His wretched life he shall for-let [lose], 
Ere he come to his own gate.' " 

Ellis, Merlin. 

A few more predictions of an equally uncanny and unpleasant 
nature firmly established his reputation as a prophet even before 
he reached court. There he boldly told the king Merlin as a 
that the astrologers, wishing to destroy the demon's prophet, 
offspring, who was wiser than they, had demanded his blood under 
pretext that the walls of Salisbury would stand were it only shed. 
When asked why the walls continually fell during the night. Merlin 
attributed it to the nightly conflict of a red and a white dragon 
concealed underground. In obedience to his instructions, search 
was made for these monsters, and the assembled court soon saw 
a frightful struggle between them. This battle finally resulted in 
the death of the red dragon and the triumph of the white. 

"With long tailis, fele [many] fold, 
And found right as Merlin told. 
That one dragon was red as fire. 
With eyen bright, as basin clear ; 
His tail was great and nothing small; 
His body was a rood withal. 
His shaft may no man tell ; 
He looked as a fiend from hell. 
The white dragon lay him by, 
Stem of look, and griesly. 
His mouth and throat yawned wide ; 
The fire brast [burst] out on ilka [each] side. 
His tail was ragged as a fiend. 
And, upon his tail's end, 


There was y-shaped a griesly head, 
To fight with the dragon red." 

Ellis, Merlin. 

The white dragon soon disappeared also, and the work of the 
castle now proceeded without further hindrance. Vortigem, how- 
ever, was very uneasy, because Merlin had not only said that the 
struggle of the red and the white dragon represented his coming 
conflict with Constans's sons, but further added that he would 
suffer defeat. This prediction was soon fulfilled. Uther and 
his brother Pendragon landed in Britain with the army they had 
assembled, and Vortigern was burned in the castle he had just 

Shortly after this victory a war arose between the Britons under 
Uther and Pendragon, and the Saxons under Hengist. Merlin, 
who had by this time become the prime minister and chief adviser 
of the British kings, predicted that they would win the victory, 
but that one would be slain. This prediction was soon verified, 
and Uther, adding his brother's name to his own, remained ^ole 
king. His first care was to bury his brother, and he implored 
Merlin to erect a suitable monument to his memory ; so the en- 
chanter conveyed great stones from Ireland to England in the 
course of a single night, and set them up at Stonehenge, where 
they can still be seen. 

" How Merlin by his skill, and magic's wondrous might. 
From Ireland hither brought the Stonendge in a night." 

Drayton, Polyolbion. 

Proceeding now to Carduel (Carlisle), Merlin, who is repre- 
sented as a great architect and wonder-worker, built Uther Pen- 
Round Table di'^gon a beautiful castle, and established the Round 
established by Table, in imitation of the one which Joseph of Ari- 
Meriin. mathea had once instituted. There were places for 
a large number of knights around this board (the number varying 
greatly with different writers), and a special place was reserved for 
the Holy Grail, which, having vanished from Britain because of the 

MERLIN. 209 

sinfulness of the people, the knights still hoped to have restored 
when they became sufficiently pure. 

" This table gan [began] Uther the wight ; 
Ac [but] it to ende had he no might. 
For, theygh [though] alia the kinges under our lord 
Hadde y-sitten [sat] at that bord, 
Knight by knight, ich you telle, 
The table might nought fulfiUe, 
Till they were born that should do all 
Fulfill the mervaile of the Greal. " 

Ellis, Merlin. 

A great festival was announced for the institution of the Round 
Table, and all the knights came to Carduel, accompanied by their 
wives. Among the la,tter the fairest was Yguerne, wife of Gorlois, 
Lord of Tintagel in Cornwall, and with her Uther fell desperately 
in love. 

" This fest was noble ynow, and nobliche y-do [done] ; 
For mony was the faire ledy, that y-come was thereto. 
Yguerne, Gorloys wyf, was fairest of echon [each one], 
That was contasse of Cornewail, for so fair was there non." 

Robert of Gloucester. 

Yguerne had already three or four daughters, famous in the 
Arthurian legends as mothers of the knights Gawain, Gravain, 
Ywain, and others. One of the king's councilors, Ulfin, revealed 
the king's passion to Yguerne, and she told her husband. Indig- 
nant at the insult offered him, Gorlois promptly left court, locked 
his wife up in the impregnable fortress of Tintagel, and, gathering 
together an army, began to fight against Uther Pendragon. 

The day before the battle, Merlin changed Uther into the form 
of Gorlois, and himself and Ulfin into those of the squires of the 
Duke of Cornwall. Thus disguised, the three went to Tintagel, 
where Yguerne threw the gates open at their call and received 
Uther as her husband, without suspecting the deception practiced 
upon her. 


On the morrow the battle took place. Gorlois was slain. 

Shortly after, Uther married Yguerne, who never suspected that 

the child which was soon born, and which Uther 

Birth of Arthur, . ,., ^i, ■■■-t ^ _„£ 

immediately confided to Merlin, was not a son ot 
Gorlois. Arthur, the child who had thus come into the world, 
was intrusted to the care of Sir Hector, who brought him up with 
his own son, Sir Kay, httle suspecting his royal descent. This 
child grew up rapidly, and when but fifteen years of age was hand- 
some, accomplished, and dearly loved by all around him. 

" He was fair, and well agre [agreeable], 
And was a thild [child] of gret noblay. 
He was curteys, faire and gent. 
And wight [brave], and hardi, veramen [truly]. 
Curteyslich [courteously] and fair he spac [spake]. 
With him was none evil lack [fault]." 

Ellis, MerUfu 

When Uther died without leaving any heir, there was an in- 
terregnum, for Merlin had promised that the true king should 
be revealed by a miracle. This prophecy was duly fulfilled, as 
will be shown hereafter. Merlin became the royal adviser as soon 
as Arthur ascended the throne, helped him win signal victories 
over twelve kings, and in the course of a single night conveyed 
armies over from France to help him. 

As Merlin could assume any shape he pleased, Arthur often 
used him as messenger ; and one of the romances relates that the 
magician, in the guise of a stag, once went to Rome to bear the 
king's challenge to Julius Caesar (not the conqueror of Gaul but 
the mythical father of Oberon) to single combat. Merlin was 
also renowned for the good advice which he gave, not only to 
Vortigern and Uther Pendragon, but also to Arthur, and for his 
numerous predictions concerning the glorious future of England, 
all of which, if we are to believe tradition, have been fulfilled. 

" O goodly River ! near unto thy sacred spring 
Prophetic Merlin sate, when to the British King 
The changes long to come, auspiciously he told." 

Drayton, PolyolbioTi. 

MERLIN. 211 

Merlin also won great renown as a builder and architect. Be- 
sides the construction of Stonehenge, and of the castle for Uther 
Pendragon, he is said to have built Arthur's beau- 
tiful palace at Camelot. He also devised sundry Palace at 

. . •' Camelot. 

magic fountains, which are mentioned in other me- 
diaeval romances. One of these is referred to by Spenser in the 
" Faerie Queene," and another by Ariosto in his " Orlando Furioso. " 

" This Spring was one of those four fountains rare, 
Of those in France produced by Merlin's sleight, 
Encompassed round about with marble fair, 
Shining and polished, and than milk more white. 
There in the stones choice figures chiseled were. 
By that magician's god-like labour dight ; 
Some voice was wanting, these you might have thought 
Were living, and with nerve and spirit fraught." 

Ariosto, Orlando Furioso (Rose's tr.). 

Merlin was also supposed to have made all kinds of magic ob- 
jects, among which the poets often mention a cup. This would 
reveal whether the drinker had led a pure Kfe, for it always over- 
flowed when touched by polluted lips. He was also the artificer 
of Arthur's armor, which no weapon could pierce, and of a magic 
mirror in which one could see whatever one wished. 

" It Merlin was, which whylome did excel 
All living wightes in might of magicke spell : 
Both shield, and sword, and armour all he wrought 
For this young Prince, when first to armes he fell." 

Spenser, Faerie Queene. 

Merlin, in spite of all his knowledge and skill, yielded often to 
the entreaties of his fair mistress, Vivian, the Lady of the Lake. 
She followed him wherever he went, and made Merlin and 
countless eflforts to learn all his arts and to dis- vivian. 
cover all his magic spells. In order to beguile the aged Merlin 
into telling her all she wished to know, Vivian pretended great 
devotion, which is admirably related in Tennyson's " Idylls of the 
King,'' one of which treats exclusively of Merlin and Vivian, 


This enchantress even went with him to the fairy-haunted forest 
of Broceliande, in Brittany, where she finally beguiled him into 
revealing a magic spell whereby a human being could be inclosed 
in a hawthorn tree, where he must dwell forever. 

" And then she follow'd Merlin all the way, 
E'en to the wild woods of Broceliande. 
For Merlin once had told her of a charm. 
The which if any wrought on any one 
With woven paces and with waving arms, 
The man so wrought on ever seem'd to lie 
Closed in the four walls of a hollow tower. 
From which was no escape for evermore ; 
And none could find that man for evermore. 
Nor could he see but him who wrought the charm 
Coming and going; and he lay as dead 
And lost to life and use and name and fame." 

Tennyson, Merlin and Vivien. 

This charm having been duly revealed, the Lady of the Lake, 
weary of her aged lover, and wishing to rid herself of him for- 
ever now that she had learned all he could teach her, lured him 
into the depths of the forest. There, by aid of the spell, she im- 
prisoned him in a thorn bush, whence, if the tales of the Breton 
peasants can be believed, his voice can be heard to issue from 
time to time. 

" They sate them down together, and a sleep 
Fell upon Merlin, more like death, so deep. 
Her finger on her lips, then Vivian rose, 
And from her brown-lock'd head the wimple throws, 
And takes it in her hand, and waves it over 
The blossom'd thorn tree and her sleeping lover. 
Nine times she waved the fluttering wimple round, 
And made a little plot of magic ground. 
And in that daised circle, as men say, 
Is Merlin prisoner till the judgment day ; 
But sh6 herself whither she will can rove — 
For she was passing weary of his love." 

Matthew Arnold, Tristram and Iseuli. 



MERLIN. 213 

According to another version of the tale, Merlin, having grown 
very old indeed, once sat down on the " Siege Perilous," forgetting 
that none but a sinless man could occupy it with impunity. He 
was immediately swallowed up by the earth, which yawned wide 
beneath his feet, and he never visited the earth again. 

A third version says that Vivian through love imprisoned Mer- 
lin in an underground palace, where she alone could visit him. 
There he dwells, unchanged by the flight of time, and daily in- 
creasing the store of knowledge for which he was noted. 



Fortunately " the question of the actual existence and acts 
of Arthur has very Kttle to do with the question of the origin 
of the Arthurian cycle." But although some authorities entirely 
deny his existence, it is probable that he was a Briton, for many 
places in Wales, Scotland, and England are connected with his 

On the very slightest basis, many of the mediasval writers con- 
structed long and fabulous tales about this hero. Such was the 
popularity of the Arthurian legends all over Europe that prose ro- 
mances concerning him were among the first works printed, and 
were thus brought into general circulation. An outline of the 
principal adventures of Arthur and of his knights is given here. 
It has been taken from many works, whose authors will often be 
mentioned as we proceed. 

King Uther Pendragon, as we have already seen, intrusted his 
new-born son, Arthur, to the care of the enchanter Merlin, who 
carried him to the castle of Sir Hector (Anton), where the young 
prince was brought up as a child of the house. 

"Wherefore Merlin took the child. 
And gave him to Sir Anton, an old knight 
And ancient friend of Uther ; and his wife 
Nursed the young prince, and rear'd him with her own ; 
And no man knew." 

Tennyson, The Coming of A rihur. 

Two years later King Uther Pendragon died, and the noble- 
men, not knowing whom to choose as his successor, consulted 



Merlin, promising to abide by his decision. By his advice they all 
assembled in St. Stephen's Church, in London, on Christmas Day. 
When mass was over they beheld a large stone The magic 
which had mysteriously appeared in the churchyard. sword. 

This stone was surmounted by a ponderous anvil, in which the 
blade of a sword was deeply sunk. Drawing near to examine 
the wonder, they read an inscription upon the jeweled hilt, to the 
eflfect that none but the man who could draw out the sword should 
dare to take possession of the throne. Pf course all present im- 
mediately tried to accomplish this feat, but all failed. 

Several years passed by ere Sir Hector came to London with 
his son. Sir Kay, and his foster son, young Arthur. Sir Kay, who, 
for the first time in his Hfe, was to take part in a tournament, was 
greatly chagrined, on arriving there, to discover that he had for- 
gotten his sword ; so Arthiu: volunteered to ride back and get it. 
He found the house closed ; yet, being determined to secure a 
sword for his foster brother, he strode hastily into the churchyard, 
and easily drew from the anvU the weapon which all had vainly 
tried to secure. 

This mysterious sword was handed to Sir Kay, and Sir Hector, 
perceiving it, and knowing whence it came, immediately inquired 
how Arthur had secured it. He even refused at Arthur made 
iirst to believe the evidence of his own eyes ; but •'■"e- 

when he and all the principal nobles of the realm had seen Arthur 
replace and draw out the sword, after all had again vainly tried 
their strength, they gladly hailed the young man king. 

As Merlin was an enchanter, it was popularly rumored that 
Arthur was not, as he now declared, the son of Uther Pendrag- 
on and Ygueme, but a babe mysteriously brought up from the 
depths of the sea, on the crest of the ninth wave, and cast ashore 
at the wizard's feet. Hence many people distrusted the young 
king, and at first refused to obey him. 

" Watch'd the great sea fall. 
Wave after wave, each mightier than the last, 
Till last, a ninth one, gathering half the deep, 


And full of voices, slowly rose and plunged 

Roaring, and all the wave was in a flame : 

And down the wave and in the flame was borne 

A naked babe, and rode to Merlin's feet. 

Who stoopt and caught the babe, and cried ' The King ! 

Here is an heir for Uther ! ' " 

Tennyson, Tke Coming of Arthur. 

Among the unbelievers were some of the king's own kindred, 
and notably his four nephews, Gawain, Gaheris, Agravaine, and 
Gareth. Arthur was therefore obliged to make war against them ; 
but although Gawain's strength increased in a truly marvelous 
fashion from nine to twelve in the morning, and from three to six 
in the afternoon, the king succeeded in defeating him by follow- 
ing Merlin's advice and taking advantage of his comparatively 
weak moments. 

Arthur, aided by Merlin, ruled over the land wisely and well, re- 
dressed many wrongs, reestablished order and security, which a 
long interregnum had destroyed, and brandished 
his sword in many a fight, in which he invariably 
proved victor. But one day, having drawn his blade upon Sir 
Pellinore, who did not deserve to be thus attacked, it suddenly 
failed him and broke. Left thus without any means of defense, 
the king would surely have perished had not Merlin used his 
magic arts to put Sir Pellinore to sleep and to bear his charge to 
a place of safety. 

Arthur, thus deprived of his magic sword, bewailed its loss; 
but while he stood by a lake, wondering how he should procure 
another, he beheld a white-draped hand and arm rise out of the 
water, holding aloft a jeweled sword which the Lady of the Lake, 
who appeared beside him, told him was intended for his use. 

" ' Thou rememberest how 
In those old days, one summer noon, an arm 
Rose up from out the bosom of the lake. 
Clothed in white samite, mystic, wonderful. 
Holding the sword — and how J row'd across 


And took it, and have worn it, like a king; 
And, wheresoever I am sung or told 
In aftertime, this also shall be known.' " 

Tennyson, Tke Passing of Arthur. 

Arthur rowed out into the middle of the lake and secured the 
sword which is known by the name Excalibur. He was then 
told by the Lady of the Lake that it was gifted with 

J , , , , , , Excalibur. 

magic powers, and that as long as the scabbard re- 
mained in his possession he would suffer neither wound nor defeat. 
Thus armed, Arthur went back to his palace, where, hearing 
that the Saxons had again invaded the country, he went to wage 
war against them, and won many victories. Shortly after this 
Arthur heard that Leodegraunce, King of Scotland, was threat- 
ened by his brother Ryance, King of Ireland, who was determined 
to complete a mantle furred with the beards of kings, and wanted 
to secure one more at any price. Arthur hastened to this mon- 
arch's assistance, and delivered him from the clutches of Ryance. 
He not only killed this savage monarch, but appropriated his 
mantle and carried it away in triumph as a trophy of the war. 

" And for a trophy brought the Giant's coat away 

Made of the beards of Kings." 

Drayton, Polyolbioti. 

After these martial exploits Arthur returned to the court of 
Leodegraunce, where he fell in love with the latter's fair daughter, 
Guinevere. The king sued successfully for her Arthur's 
hand, but Merlin would not allow him to marry marriage with 
this princess until he had distinguished himself by mnevere. 
a campaign in Brittany. The wedding was then celebrated with 
true mediaeval pomp ; and Arthur, having received, besides the 
princess, the Round Table once made for his father, conveyed his 
bride and wedding gift to Camelot (Winchester), where he bade 
all his court be present for a great feast at Pentecost. 

" The nearest neighboring flood to Arthur's ancient seat, 
Which made the Britons' name through all the world so great. 


Like Camelot, what place was ever yet renown'd ? 

Where, as at Carlion, oft, he kept the Table-Round, 

Most famous for the sports at Pentecost so long, 

From whence all knightly deeds, and brave achievements sprong." 

Drayton, PolyoUnon. 

Arthur had already warred successfully against twelve revolted 
kings, whose remains were interred at Camelot by his order. 
Knights of the There Merlin erected a marvelous castle, contain- 
Round Table. Jug a special hall for the reception of the Round 
Table. This hall was adorned with the lifelike statues of all the 
conquered kings, each holding a burning taper which the magician 
declared would burn brightly until the Holy Grail should appear. 
Hoping to bring that desirable event to pass, Arthur bade Merlin 
frame laws for the knights of the Round Table. As distinctive 
mark, each of the noblemen admitted to a seat at this marvelous 
table adopted some heraldic device. The number of these 
knights varies from twelve to several hundred, according to the 
different poets or romancers. 

" The fellowshipp of the Table Round, 
Soe famous in those dayes ; 
Whereatt a hundred noble knights 
And thirty sat alwayes ; 
Who for their deeds and martiall feates, 
As bookes done yett record, 
Amongst all other nations 
Wer feared through the world." 

Legend of King Arthur (Old Ballad). 

Merlin, by virtue of his magic powers, easily selected the knights 
worthy to belong to this noble institution, and the Archbishop of 
Canterbury duly blessed them and the board around which they 
sat. All the places were soon filled except two; and as the 
knights arose from their seats after the first meal they noticed that 
their names were inscribed in letters of gold in the places they 
had occupied. But one of the empty seats was marked "Siege 
PerilouSj" and could only be occupied by a peerless knight, 


Among all the knights of the Round Table, Sir Lancelot du 
Lac, who is the hero of several lengthy poems and romances 
bearing his name, was the most popular. Chres- ^.anceiot du 
tien de Troyes, Geoffrey de Ligny, Robert de La=- 

Borron, and Map have all written about him, and he was so well 
known that his name was given to one of the knaves on the 
playing cards invented at about this time. Malory, in his prose 
version of the " Morte d' Arthur," has drawn principally from 
the poems treating of Lancelot, whose early life was somewhat 
extraordinary, too. 

Some accounts relate that Lancelot was the son of King Ban 
and Helen. When he was but a babe, his parents were obliged 
to iiee from their besieged castle in Brittany. Before they had 
gone far, the aged Ban, seeing his home in flames, sank dying to 
the ground. Helen, eager to minister to her husband, laid her 
baby boy down on the grass near a lake, and when she again 
turned around, she saw him in the arms of Vivian, the Lady of 
the Lake, who plunged with him into the waters. 

" In the wife's woe, the mother was forgot. 

At last (for I was all earth held of him 
Who had been all to her, and now was not) 

She rose, and looked with tearless eyes, but dim, 
111 the babe's face the father still to see ; 
And lo ! the babe was on another's knee ! 

"Another's lips had kissed it into sleep, 

And o'er the sleep another watchful smiled ; 
The Fairy sate beside the lake's still deep, 

And hush'd with chaunted charms the orphan child ! 
Scared at the mother's cry, as fleets a dream. 
Both Child and Fairy melt into the stream." 

BuLWER Lytton, King Arthur. 

The bereaved wife and mother now sorrowfully withdrew into 
a convent, while Lancelot was brought up in the palace of the 
Lady of the Lake, with his two cousins, Lyonel and Bohort. Here 
he remained until he was eighteen, when the fairy herself brought 


him to court and presented him to the king. Arthur then and 
there made him his friend and confidant, and gave hun an hon- 
ored place at the Round Table. He was warmly welcomed by all 
the other knights also, whom he far excelled in beauty and courage. 

" But one Sir Lancelot du Lake, 
Who was approved well. 
He for his deeds and feats of armes 
All others did excell." 

Sir Lancelot du Lake (Old Ballad). 

Lancelot, however, was doomed to much sorrow, for he had 

no sooner beheld Queen Guinevere than he fell deeply in love 

Lancelot and with her. The queen fully returned his affection, 

Guinevere. granted him many marks of her favor, and encour- 
aged him to betray his friend and king on sundry occasions, which 
form the themes of various episodes in the romances of the time. 
Lancelot, urged in one direction by passion, in another by loyalty, 
led a very unhappy life, which made him relapse into occasional 
fits of insanity, during which he roamed aimlessly about for many 
years. When restored to his senses, he always returned to court, 
where he accomplished unheard-of deeds of valor, delivered many 
maidens in distress, righted the wrong wherever he found it, won 
all the honors at the tournaments, and ever remained faithful in 
his devotion to the queen, although many fair ladies tried to make 
him forget her. 

Some of the poems, anxious to vindicate the queen, declare 
that there were two Guineveres, one pure, lovely, and worthy of 
all admiration, who suffered for the sins of the other, an unprin- 
cipled woman. When Arthur discovered his wife's intrigue with 
Lancelot, he sent her away, and Guinevere took refuge with her 
lover in Joyeuse Garde (Berwick), a castle he had won at the 
point of his lance to please her. But the king, having ascertained 
some time after that the real Guinevere had been wrongfully ac- 
cused, reinstated her in his favor, and Lancelot again returned 
to comt, where he continued to love and serve the queen. 

On one occasion, hearing that she had been made captive by 


Meleagans, Lancelot rushed after Guinevere to rescue her, tracing 
her by a comb and ringlet she had dropped on the way. His horse 
was taken from him by enchantment, so Lancelot, in order sooner 
to overtake the queen, rode on in a cart. This was considered a 
disgraceful mode of progress for a knight, as a nobleman in those 
days was condemned to ride in a cart in punishment for crimes 
for which common people were sentenced to the pillory. 

Lancelot succeeded in reaching the castle of Guinevere's kid- 
naper, whom he challenged and defeated. The queen, instead 
of showing herself grateful for this devotion, soon became need- 
lessly jealous, and in a fit of anger taunted her lover about his 
journey in the cart. This remark sufficed to unsettle the hero's 
evidently very tottering reason, and he roamed wildly about until 
the queen recognized her error, and sent twenty-three knights in 
search of him. They joiurneyed far and wide for two whole 
years without finding him. 

" ' Then Sir Bors had ridden on 
Softly, and sorrowing for our Lancelot, 
Because his former madness, once the talk 
And scandal of our table, had return'd ; 
For Lancelot's kith and kin so worship him 
That ill to him is ill to them.' " 

Tennyson, The Holy Grail. 

Finally a fair and pious damsel took pity upon the frenzied 
knight, and seeing that he had atoned by suffering for all his sins, 
she had him borne into the chamber where the Holy Grail was 
kept ; " and then there came a holy man, who uncovered the vessel, 
and so by miracle, and by virtue of that holy vessel. Sir Lancelot 
was all healed and recovered." 

Sane once more, Lancelot now returned to Camelot, where the 
king, queen, and all the knights of the Round Table rejoiced to 
see him. Here Lancelot knighted Sir Gareth, who, Gareth and 
to please his mother, had concealed his true name, Lynette. 
and had acted as kitchen vassal for a whole year. The new- 
made knight immediately started out with a fair maiden called 


Lynette, to deliver her captive sister. Thinking him nothing but 
the kitchen vassal he seemed, the damsel insulted Gareth in every 
possible way. He bravely endured her taunts, courageously de- 
feated all her adversaries, and finally won her admiration and re- 
spect to such a degree that she bade him ride beside her, and 
humbly asked his pardon for having so grievously misjudged him. 

" ' Sir, — and, good faith, I fain had added Knight, 
But that I heard thee call thyself a knave, — 
Shamed am I that I so rebuked, reviled, 
Missaid thee ; noble I am ; and thought the King 
Scorn'd me and mine ; and now thy pardon, friend, 
For thou hast ever answer'd courteously. 
And wholly bold thou art, and meek withal 
As any of Arthur's best, but, being knave. 
Hast mazed my wit : I marvel what thou art.' " 

Tennyson, Gareik a7td Lynette. 

Granting her full forgiveness, Gareth now rode beside her, 
fought more bravely still, and, after defeating many knights, de- 
livered her sister from captivity, and secured Lynette's promise to 
become his wife as soon as he had been admitted to the Round 
Table. When he returned to Arthur's court this honor was im- 
mediately awarded him, for his prowess had won the admiration 
of all, and he was duly married on St. Michaelmas Day. 

" And he that told the tale in older times 
Says that Sir Gareth wedded Lyoners, 
But he that told it later, says Lynette." 

Tennyson, Gareth aitd Ly?teiie. 

Gareth's brother, Geraint, was also an honored member of the 
Round Table. After distinguishing himself by many deeds of 
Geraint and valor he married Enid the Fair, the only daughter 
Enid. of an old and impoverished knight whom he de- 

livered from the tyranny of his oppressor and restored to all his 
former state. Taking his fair wife away with him to his lonely 
manor, Geraint surrounded her with every comfort, and, forgetting 


his former high aspirations, spent all his time at home, hoping 
thereby to please her. 

" He compass'd her with sweet observances 
And worship, never leaving her, and grew 
Forgetful of his promise to the King, 
Forgetful of the falcon and the hunt, 
Forgetful of the tilt and tournament, 
Forgetful of his glory and his name, 
Forgetful of his princedom and its cares. 
And this forgetfulness was hateful to her." 

Tennyson, Geraini and Enid. 

Enid, however, soon perceived that her husband was forgetting 
both honor and duty to linger by her side. One day, while he 
lay asleep before her, she, in an outburst of wifely love, poured 
out her heart, and ended her confession by declaring that since 
Geraint neglected everything for her sake only, she must be an 
unworthy wife. 

Geraint awoke too late to overhear the first part of her speech ; 
but, seeing her tears, and catching the words " unworthy wife," 
he immediately imagined that she had ceased to love him, and that 
she received the attentions of another. In his anger Geraint 
(whom the French and German poems call Erec) rose from his 
couch, and sternly bade his wife don her meanest apparel and 
silently follow him through the world. 

"The page he bade with speed 
Prepare his own strong steed. 
Dame Enid's palfrey there beside ; 
He said that he would ride 
For pastime far away : 
So forward hastened they." 

Hartmann von Aue, Brek and Enid (BsLysai Taylor's tr.). 

Patiently Enid did her husband's bidding, watched him fight 
the knights by the way, and bound up his wounds. She suffered 
intensely from his incomprehensible coldness and displeasure ; but 
she stood all his tests so nobly that he finally recognized how 


greatly he had misjudged her. He then restored her to her right- 
ful place, and loved her more dearly than ever before. 

" Nor did he doubt her more, 
But rested in her fealty, till he crown'd 
A happy life with a fair death, and fell 
Against the heathen of the Northern Sea 
In battle, fighting for the blameless King." 

Tennyson, Geraint and Ettid. 

One Pentecost Day, when all the knights were assembled, as 
usual, around the table at Camelot, a distressed damsel suddenly 
entered the hall and implored Lancelot to accom- 
pany her to the neighboring forest, where a young 
warrior was hoping to receive knighthood at his hands. This youth 
was Sir Galahad, the peerless knight, whom some authorities call 
Lancelot's son, while others declare that he was not of mortal birth. 

On reentering the hall after performing this ceremony, Lance- 
lot heard that a miracle had occurred, and rushed with the king 
and his companions down to the riverside. There the rumor was 
verified, for they all saw a heavy stone floating down the stream, 
and perceived that a costly weapon was sunk deep in the stone. 
On this weapon was an inscription, declaring that none but a peer- 
less knight should attempt to draw it out, upon penalty. of a griev- 
ous punishment. As all the knights of the Round Table felt guilty 
of some sin, they modestly refused to touch it. 

When they returned into the hall an aged man came in, ac- 
companied by Galahad, and the latter, fearless by right of inno- 
cence, sat down in the " Siege Perilous." As his name then ap- 
peared upon it, all knew that he was the rightful occupant, and 
hailed his advent with joy. Then, noticing that he wore an empty 
scabbard, and hearing him state that he had been promised a 
marvelous sword, they one and all escorted him down to the river, 
where he easily drew the sword out of the stone. This fitted ex- 
actly in his empty sheath, and all vowed that it was evidently 
meant for him. 


That selfsame night, after evensong, when all the knights were 
seated about the Round Table at Camelot, they heard a long 
roll of thunder, and felt the palace shake. The brilhant hghts 
held by the statues of the twelve conquered kings grew strangely 
dim, and then, gliding down upon a beam of refulgent celestial 
light, they all beheld a dazzling vision of the Holy Grail. Cov- 
ered by white samite, and bonie by invisible hands, the sacred 
vessel was slowly carried all around the great hall, while a de- 
hcious perfume was wafted throughout the huge edifice. All 
the knights of the Round Table gazed in silent awe at this re- 
splendent vision, and when it vanished as suddenly and as mys- 
teriously as it had come, each saw before him the food which he 
liked best. 

Speechless at first, and motionless iptil the wonted light again 
illumined the hall, the knights gave fervent thanks for the mercy 
which had been vouchsafed them, and then Lancelot, springing 
impetuously to his feet, vowed that he would ride forth in search 
of the Holy Grail and would know no rest until he had beheld it 
unveiled. This vow was echoed by all the knights of the Round 
Table ; and when Arthur now questioned them closely, he dis- 
covered that none had seen the vessel unveiled. Still he could 
not prevent his knights from setting out in quest of it, because 
they had solemnly vowed to do so. 

" ' Nay, lord, I heard the sound, I saw the light. 
But since I did not see the Holy Thing, 
I sware a vow to follow it till I saw.' 

" Then when he ask'd us, knight by knight, if any 
Had seen it, all their answers were as one : 
' Nay, lord, and therefore have we sworn our vows.' " 

Tennyson, Tke Holy Grail. 

During this quest the knights traveled separately or in pairs all 
through the world, encountered many dangers, and in true medi- 
aeval fashion defended damsels in distress, challenged knights, 
and covered themselves with scars and glory. Some of the leg- 



ends declare that Parzival alone saw the Holy Grail, while others 
aver that Lancelot saw it through a veil faintly. The pure Gala- 
Quest of the had, having never sinned at all, and having spent 
Holy Grail, years in prayer and fasting, finally beheld it just as 
his immaculate soul was borne to heaven by the angels. 

The rest of the knights, realizing after many years' fruitless 
search that they were unworthy of the boon, finally returned to 
Camelot, where they were duly entertained by the queen. While 
they were feasting at her table, one of their number, having par- 
taken of a poisonous draught, fell lifeless to the ground. As the 
incident had happened at the queen's side, some of her detract- 
ors accused her of the crime, and bade her confess, or prove her 
innocence by a judicial duel. Being her husband, Arthur was 
debarred by law of the privilege of fighting for her in the hsts of 
Camelot, and the poor queen would have been condemned to be 
burned alive for lack of a champion had not Lancelot appeared 
incognito, and forced her accuser to retract his words. 

Throughout his reign Arthur had been wont to encourage his 
knights by yearly tournaments, the victor's prize being each time 
a precious jewel. It seems that these jewels had come into his 
possession in a peculiar way. While wandering as a lad in Lyon- 
esse, Arthur found the moldering bones of two kings. Tradition 
related that these monarchs had slain each other, and, as they 
were brothers, the murder seemed so heinous that none dared 
touch their remains. There among the rusty armor lay a kingly 
crown studded with diamonds, which Arthur picked up and care- 
lessly set upon his own head. At that very moment a prophetic 
voice was heard declaring to him that he should rule. Arthur 
kept the crown, and made each jewel set in it the object of a 
brilliant pageant when the prophecy had been fulfilled. 

"And Arthur came, and laboring up the pass. 
All in a misty moonshine, unawares 
Had trodden that crown'd skeleton, and the skull 
Brake from the nape, and from the skull the crown 
RoU'd into light, and turning on its rims 


Fled like a glittering rivulet to the tarn. 

And down the shingly scaur he plunged, and caught, 

And set it on his head, and in his heart 

Heard murmurs, — ' Lo ! thou likewise shalt be King.' " 

Tennyson, Lancelot and Elaine. 

Lancelot had been present at every one of these knightly 
games, and had easily borne away the prize, for his very name 
was almost enough to secure him the victory. Lancelot's 
When the time for the last tournament came, he prowess, 
pretended to take no interest in it; but, riding off to Astolat 
(Guildford), he asked Elaine, the fair maiden who dwelt there, 
to guard his blazoned shield and give him another in exchange. 

This fair lady, who had fallen in love with Lancelot at first 
sight, immediately complied with his request, and even timidly 
suggested that he should wear her colors in the coming fray. 
Lancelot had never worn any favors except Guinevere's, but 
thinking that it would help to conceal his identity, he accepted 
the crimson, pearl-embroidered sleeve she offered, and fastened 
it to his helmet in the usual way. 

" ' Lady, thy sleeve thou shalt ofF-shear, 
I wol it take for the love of thee ; 
So did I never no lady's ere [before] 
But one, that most hath loved me.' " 

Ellis, Lancelot du Lac. 

Thus effectually disguised, and accompanied by Sir Lawaine, 
Elaine's brother, Lancelot rode on to the tournament, where, still 
unknown, he unhorsed every knight and won the prize. His last 
encounter, however, nearly proved fatal, for in it he received a 
grievous wound. As he felt faint, and was afraid to be recog- 
nized, Lancelot did not wait to claim the prize, but rode imme- 
diately out of the town. He soon fainted, but was conveyed to 
the cell of a neighboring hermit. Here his wound was dressed, 
and he was carefully nursed by Elaine, who had heard that he 
was wounded, and had immediately set out in search of him. 


When Lancelot, entirely recovered, was about to leave Elaine 
after claiming his own shield, she timidly confessed her love, hop- 
Lancelot and ing that it was returned. Gently and sorrowfully 
Elaine. Lancelot repulsed her, and, by her father's advice, 
was even so discourteous as to leave her without a special fare- 
well. Unrequited love soon proved too much for the " lily maid 
of Astolat," who pined away very rapidly. Feeling that her end 
was near, she dictated a farewell letter to Lancelot, which she 
made her father promise to put in her dead hand. She also 
directed that her body should be laid in state on a barge, and sent 
in charge of a mute boatman to Camelot, where she was sure she 
would receive a suitable burial from the hands of Lancelot. 

In the mean while the hero of the tournament had been sought 
everywhere by Gawain, who was the bearer of the diamond won 
at such a cost. Coming to Astolat before Lancelot was cured, 
Gawain had learned the name of the victor, which he immedi- 
ately proclaimed to Guinevere. The queen, however, hearing a 
vague rumor that Lancelot had worn the colors of the maiden of 
Astolat, and was about to marry her, grew so jealous that when 
Lancelot reappeared at court she received him very coldly, and 
carelessly flung his present (a necklace studded with the diamonds 
he had won at various tournaments) into the river flowing beneath 
the castle walls. 

" She seized. 
And, thro' the casement standing wide for heat, 
Flung them, and down they flash'd, and smote the stream. 
Then from the smitten surface flash'd, as it were, 
Diamonds to meet them, and they passed away." 

Tennyson, Lancelot and Elaine. 

As he leaned out of the window to trace them in their fall, 

Lancelot saw a barge slowly drifting down the stream. Its pecul- 

The funeral iar appearance attracted his attention, and as it 

barge. passed close by him he saw that it bore a corpse. 

A moment later he had recognized the features of the dead Elaine. 

The mute boatman paused at the castle steps, and Arthur had the 


corpse borne into his presence. The letter was found and read 
aloud in the midst of the awestruck court. Arthur, touched by 
the girl's love, bade Lancelot fulfill her last request and lay her 
to rest. Lancelot then related the brief story of the maiden, 
whose love he could not return, but whose death he sincerely 

" ' My lord liege Arthur, and all ye that hear, 
Know that for this most gentle maiden's death 
Right heavy am I ; for good she was and true, 
But loved me with a love beyond all love 
In women, whomsoever I have known. 
Yet to be loved makes not to love again ; 
Not at my years, however it hold in youth. 
I swear by truth and knighthood that I gave 
No cause, not willingly, for such a love : 
To this I call my friends in testimony. 
Her brethren, and her father, who himself 
Besought me to be plain and blunt, and use, 
To break her passion, some discourtesy 
Against my nature : what I could, I did. 
I left her and I bade her no farewell ; , 
Tho', had I dreamt the damsel would have died, 
I might have put my wits to some rough use. 
And help'd her from herself.' " 

Tennyson, Lancelot and Elaine. 

Haunted by remorse for this involuntary crime, Lancelot again 
wandered away from Camelot, but returned in time to save Guin- 
evere, who had again been falsely accused. In his indignation 
at the treatment to which she had been exposed, Lancelot bore 
her off to Joyeuse Garde, where he swore he would defend her 
even against the king. Arthur, whose mind, in the mean while, 
had been poisoned by officious courtiers, besieged his recreant 
wife and knight ; but although repeatedly challenged, the loyal 
Lancelot ever refused to bear arms directly against his king. 

When the Pope heard of the dissension in England he finally in- 
terfered ; and Lancelot, assured that Guinevere would henceforth 


be treated with all due respect, surrendered her to the king and 
retreated to his paternal estate in Brittany. As Arthur's resent- 
ment against Lancelot had not yet cooled, he left Guinevere under 
the care and protection of Mordred, his nephew,— some versions 
say his son,— and then, at the head of a large force, departed for 

Mordred the traitor immediately took advantage of his uncle's 

absence to lay claim to the throne; and loudly declaring that 

Treachery of Arthur had been slain, he tried to force Guinevere 

Mordred. to marry him. As she demurred, he kept her a 
close prisoner, and set her free only when she pretended to agree 
with his wishes, and asked permission to go to London to buy 
wedding finery. 

When Guinevere arrived in that city she intrenched herself in 
the Tower, and sent word to her husband of her perilous posi- 
tion. Without any delay Arthur abandoned the siege of Lancelot's 
stronghold, and, crossing the channel, encountered Mordred's 
army near Dover. 

Negotiations now took place, and it was finally agreed that 
Arthur and a certain number of knights should meet Mordred 
with an equal number, and discuss the terms of peace. It had 
been strictly enjoined on both parties that no weapon should 
be drawn, and all would have gone well had not an adder been 
lurking in the grass. One of the knights drew his sword to kill 
it, and this unexpected movement proved the signal for one of 
the bloodiest battles described in mediaeval poetry. 

" An addere crept forth of a bushe, 
Stunge one o' th' king's knightes on the knee. 
Alacke ! it was a woefulle chance, 
As ever was in Christientie ; 
When the knighte founde him wounded sore, 
And sawe the wild worme hanginge there. 
His sworde he from the scabbarde drewe ; 
A piteous case, as ye shall heare ; 
For when the two hostes saw the sworde, 


They joyned in battayle instantlye ; 
Till of so manye noble knightes, 
On one side there was left but three." 

King A Kthur's Death. 

On both sides the knights fought with the utmost courage, and 
when nearly all were slain, Arthur encountered the traitor Mor- 
dred. Summoning all his strength, the exhausted Arthur 
king finally slew the usurper, who, in dying, dealt wounded. 
Arthur a mortal blow. This would never have occurred, however, 
had not Morgana the fay, Arthur's sister, purloined his magic scab- 
bard and substituted another. All the enemy's host had perished, 
and of Arthur's noble army only one man remained ahve. Sir 
Bedivere, a knight of the Round Table. He hastened to the side 
of his fallen master, who in faltering accents now bade him take 
the brand Excalibur, cast it far from him into the waters of the 
lake, and return to report what he should see. The knight, think- 
ing it a pity to throw away so valuable a sword, concealed it twice ; 
but the dying monarch detected the fraud, and finally prevailed 
upon Bedivere to fulfill his wishes. As the magic blade touched 
the waters Sir Bedivere saw a hand and arm rise up from the 
depths to seize it, brandish it thrice, and disappear. 

" 'Sir King, I closed mine eyelids, lest the gems 
Should blind ray purpose ; for I never saw, 
Nor shall see, here or elsewhere, till I die. 
Not tho' I live three lives of mortal men. 
So great a miracle as yonder hilt. 
Then with both hands I flung him, wheeling him ; 
But when I look'd again, behold an arm. 
Clothed in white samite, mystic, wonderful, 
That caught him by the hilt, and brandish'd him 
Three times, and drew him under in the mere.' " 

Tennyson, The Passing of Arthur. 

Arthur gave a sigh of relief when he heard this report ; and 
after telling his faithful squire that Merlin had declared that he 
should not die, he bade the knight lay hini in a barge, all hung 


with black, wherein he would find Morgana the fay, the Queen 
of Northgallis, and the Queen of the Westerlands. 

Sir Bedivere obeyed all these orders exactly ; and then, seeing 
his beloved king about to leave him, he implored permission to ac- 
company him. This, however, Arthur could not grant, for it had 
been decreed that he should go alone to the island of Avalon, 
where he hoped to be cured of his grievous wound, and some 
day to return to his sorrowing people. 

" ' But now farewell. I am going a long way 
With these thou seest — if indeed I go 
(For all my mind is clouded with a doubt) — 
To the island-valley of Avilion ; 
Where falls not hail, or rain, or any snow. 
Nor ever wind blows loudly ; but it lies 
Deep-meadow'd, happy, fair with orchard lawns 
And bowery hollows crown'd with summer sea, 
Where I will heal me of my grievous wound.' " 

Tennyson, The Passing of Arthur. 

It was because Arthur thus disappeared and was never seen 
again, according to one version of the myth, and because none 

■Arthur in knew whether he were living or dead, that he was 
Avalon. popularly supposed to be enjoying perpetual youth 
and bliss in the fabled island of Avalon, whence tihey averred he 
would return when his people needed him. This belief was so 
deeply rooted in England that Philip of Spain, upon marrying 
Mary, was compelled to take a solemn oath whereby he bound 
himself to relinquish the crown in favor of Arthur should he ap- 
pear to claim it. 

" Still look the Britons for the day 
Of Arthur's coming o'er the sea." 

Layamon, Brut. 

Other romances and poems relate that Arthur was borne in the 
sable-hung barge to Glastonbury, where his remains were laid in 
the tomb, while Guinevere retired into the nunnery at Almesbury. 

THE ROifl\/nXA!'LE. 233 

There she was once more visited by the sorrowing Lancelot, 
who, in spite of all his haste, had come upon the scene too late 
to save or be reconciled to the king, to whom he was still devot- 
edly attached. In his sorrow and remorse the knight withdrew 
into a hermitage, where he spent six years in constant penance 
and prayer. At last he was warned in a vision that Guinevere 
was no more. He hastened to Almesbury, and found her really 
dead. After burying her by Arthur's side, in the chapel of Glas- 
tonbury, Lancelot again withdrew to his cell. Six weeks later, 
worn to a shadow by abstinence and night watches, he peace- 
fully passed away, and a priest watching near him said that he 
had seen the angels receive and bear his ransomed spirit straight 
up to heaven. 

Lancelot was buried either at Arthur's feet or at Joyeuse 
Garde. He was deeply mourned by all his friends, and espe- 
cially by his heir. Sir Ector de Maris, who eulogized him in the 
following touching terms : " ' Ah, Sir Lancelot,' he said, ' thou 
were head of all Christian knights ; and now I dare say,' said Sir 
Ector, ' that. Sir Lancelot, there thou liest, thou were never 
matched of none earthly knight's hands ; and thou were the court- 
liest knight that ever bare shield ; and thou were the truest friend 
to thy lover that ever bestrode horse ; and thou were the truest 
lover of a sinful man that ever loved woman ; and thou were the 
kindest man that ever struck with sword ; and thou were the 
goodliest person that ever came among press of knights; and 
thou were the meekest man, and the gentlest, that ever ate in hall 
among ladies ; and thou were the sternest knight to thy mortal 
foe that ever put spear in rest.' " 



The story of Tristan, which seems to have been current from 
earliest times, refers, perhaps, to the adventures of a knight, the 
Origin of the contemporary of Arthur or of Cassivellaunus. The 
story. tale seems to have akeady been known in the sixth 

century, and was soon seized upon by the bards, who found it 
a rich theme for their metrical romances. It is quite unknown 
whether it was first turned into Latin, French, or Welsh verse; 
but an established fact is that it has been translated into every 
European language, and was listened to with as much interest 
by the inhabitants of Iceland as by those of the sunny plains 
of Greece. 

We know that there are metrical versions, or remains of met- 
rical versions, attributed to Thomas of Ercildoune (the Rhymer), 
to Raoul de Beauvais, Chrestien de Troyes, Rusticien de Pise, 
Luces de Gast, Robert and H61ie de Borron, and Gottfried von 
Strassburg, and that in our day it has been retold by Matthew 
Arnold and Swinburne, and made the subject of an opera by 
Wagner. These old metrical versions, recited with manifold varia- 
tions by the minstrels, were finally collected into a prose romance, 
like most of the mediaeval poems of this kind. 

The outline of the story, collected from many different sources, 
is as follows : 

Meliadus (Rivalin, or Roland Rise) was Lord of Lyonesse 
(Ermonie, or Parmenia), and after warring for some time against 
Morgan, he entered into a seven-years' truce. This time of 



respite was employed by Meliadus in visiting Mark, King of 
Cornwall, who dwelt at Tintagel, where he was holding a great 
tournament. Many knights of tried valor hurried thither to win 
laurels, but none were able to unhorse Meliadus, who obtained 
every prize. 

His courage was such that he even won the heart of Blanche- 
fleur, the sister of the king. As the monarch refused to consent 
to their union, the young people were secretly married, or eloped, 
if we are to beUeve another version of the story. 

According to the first account, Blanchefleur remained at court, 
where, hearing that her husband had died, she breathed her last 
in giving birth to a son, whom she called Tristan Birth 

(Tristrem), because he had come into the world of Tristan, 
under such sad circumstances. The second version relates that 
Blanchefleur died as Morgan entered the castle over her hus- 
band's dead body, and that her faithful retainer, Kurvenal (Ro- 
hand, Rual), in order to save her son, claimed him as his own. 

The child Tristan grew up without knowing his real parentage, 
learned all that a knight was expected to know, and became espe- 
cially expert as a hunter and as a harp player. One day he 
strolled on board of a Norwegian vessel which had anchored in 
the harbor near his ancestral home, and accepted the challenge 
of the Norsemen to play a game of chess for a certain wager. 

As Tristan played at chess as well as upon the harp, he soon 
won the game ; but the Northmen, rather than pay their forfeited 
wager, suddenly raised the anchor and sailed away, intending to 
sell the kidnaped youth as a slave. 

" Thar com a schip of Norway, 

To Sir Rohandes hold, 
With haukes white and grey, 

And panes fair y-fold : 
Tristrem herd it say. 

On his playing he wold 
Tventi schilling to lay, 

Sir Rohand him told. 


And taught ; 

For hauke silver he gold ; 

The fairest men him raught. " 

Scott, Sir Tristretn. 

They had not gone far, however, before a terrible tempest 
arose, which threatened to sink the vessel and drown all on 
board. The mariners, supposing in their terror that this peril had 
come upon them because they had acted dishonorably, made a 
solemn vow to liberate the yotith if they escaped. 

The vow having been made, the wind ceased to blow; and 
anchoring in the nearest bay, the Norsemen bade Tristan land, 
and paid him the sum he had won at chess. 

Thus forsaken on an unknown shore, with nothing but his harp 
and bow, Tristan wandered through an extensive forest, where, 
Tristan coming across a party of huntsmen who had just 
in Cornwall, giajjj g, deer, he gave them valuable and lengthy in- 
structions in matters pertaining to the chase, and taught them how 
to flay and divide their quarry according to the most approved 
mediaeval style. Then, accompanying them to the court of their 
master. King Mark, he charmed every one with his minstrelsy, 
and was invited to tarry there as long as he pleased. His 
foster father, Kurvenal, in the mean while, had set out to seek 
him ; and in the course of his wanderings he too came to Mark's 
court, where he was overjoyed to find Tristan, whose parentage 
he revealed to the king. 

Tristan now for the first time heard the story of his father's 
death, and refused to rest until he had avenged him. He imme- 
diately set out, slew Morgan, and recovered his father's estate of 
Lyonesse, which he intrusted to Kurvenal's care, while he himself 
went back to Cornwall. On arriving at Tintagel he was surprised 
to find all the court plunged in sorrow. Upon inquiring the cause 
he was informed that Morold, brother of the King of Ireland, had 
come to claim the usual tribute of three hundred pounds of silver 
and tin and three hundred promising youths to be sold into slavery. 

Indignant at this claim, which had been enforced ever since 


Mark had been defeated in battle by the Irish king, Tristan boldly 
strode up to the emissary, tore the treaty in two, flung the pieces 
in his face, and challenged him to single combat. Morold, confi- 
dent in his strength, — for he was a giant,— and relying particularly 
upon his poisoned sword, immediately accepted the challenge. 
When the usual preliminaries had been settled, the battle began. 

" Sir Morold rode upon his steed, 
And flew against Tristan with speed 
Still greater than is falcons' flight ; 
But warlike too was Tristan's might." 

Gottfried von Stkassburg (Dippold's tr.). 

Terrible blows were given and received, and at last Tristan 
sank to the ground on one knee, for his opponent's poisoned 
weapon had pierced his side. 

Morold then called upon him to acknowledge himself beaten, 
promising to obtain a balsam from his sister Iseult (Isolde, Ysolde), 
who knew a remedy for such a dangerous wound. But Tristan, 
remembering that, if he surrendered, three hundred innocent chil- 
dren would be sold as slaves, made a last despairing efEort, and 
slew Morold. Such was the force of the blow he dealt that he 
cut through the helmet and pierced Morold's skull, which was 
so hard that a fragment of his sword remained imbedded within 
the wound. 

The people of Cornwall were, of course, delighted ; and while 
the Irish heralds returned empty-handed to DubHn with Morold's 
remains, the King of Cornwall loudly proclaimed that as he had 
no son, Tristan should be his heir. 

Tristan, however, was far from happy, for the wound in his 
side refused to heal, and gradually became so offensive that no 
one could bear his presence. As none of the court Tristan's 
doctors could relieve him, he remembered Morold's wound, 
words, and resolved to go to Ireland, in hopes that Iseult would 
cure him. Conscious, however, that she would never consent to 
heljp him if she suspected his identity, he embarked alone, or with 


Kurvenal, in a small vessel, taking only his harp, and drifted 
toward Ireland, where he arrived at the end of fifteen days. 
When-he appeared at court, Tristan declared that he was a wan- 
dering minstrel called Tantris, and bespoke the kind offices of the 
queen, Iseult. Charmed by his music, she hastened to cure him 
of the grievous wound from which he had suffered so much. 

Tristan, still unknown, remained at the Irish court for some 
time, spending many hours with Iseult, the daughter and name- 
sake of the queen, whom he instructed daily in the art of music. 
After some months passed thus in pleasant intercourse, Tristan 
returned to Cornwall, where he related to Mark the story of his 
cure, and so extolled the beauty of young Iseult that the king 
finally expressed a desire to marry her. By the advice of the 
courtiers, who were jealous of Tristan, and who hoped that this 
mission would cost him his life, the young hero was sent to Ire- 
land with an imposing retinue, to sue for the maiden's hand and 
to escort her safely to Cornwall. 

On landing in Dublin, Tristan immediately became aware that 
the people were laboring under an unusual excitement. Upon 
questioning them he learned that a terrible dragon had taken up 
its station near the city, that it was devastating the country, and 
that the king had promised the hand of Iseult to the man who 
would slay the monster. Tristan immediately concluded that by 
killing the dragon he would have the best chance of successfully 
carrying out his uncle's wishes, so he sallied forth alone to attack it. 

" This dragon had two furious wings. 
Each one upon each shoulder; 
With a sting in his tayl as long as a flayl, 
Which made him bolder and bolder. 

" He had long claws, and in his jaws 
Four and forty teeth of iron ; 
With a hide as tough as any buff 
Which did him round environ." • 

Dragon qfWantley (Old Ballad). 

In spite of the fearful appearance of this dragon, and of the 


volumes of fire and venom which it belched forth, Tristan en- 
countered it bravely, and finally slew it. Then, cutting out the 
monster's tongue, he thrust it into his pocket, in- Tristan and 
tending to produce it at the right moment. He had '^"^ dragon, 
gone only a few steps, however, when, exhausted by his prolonged 
conflict, stunned by the poisonous fumes which he had inhaled, 
and overcome by the close contact with the dragon's tongue, he 
sank fainting to the ground. A few moments later the butler of 
the Irish king rode up. He saw the dragon dead, with his con- 
queror lifeless beside him, and quickly resolved to take advantage 
of this fortunate chance to secure the hand of the fair princess. 
He therefore cut off the dragon's head, and, going to court, 
boasted of having slain the monster just as it had killed a strange 
knight. Iseult and her mother, well aware that the man was a 
coward, refused to believe his story, and hastened off to the scene 
of the conflict, where they found the fainting Tristan with the 
dragon's tongue in his pocket. 

To remove the poisonous substance, (which they, however, pre- 
served,) convey the knight to the palace, and restore him by ten- 
der care, was the next impulse of these brave women. Then, 
while Iseult the younger sat beside her patient, watching his 
slumbers, she idly drew his sword from the scabbard. Suddenly 
her eye was caught by a dint in the blade, which she soon dis- 
covered was of exactly the same shape and size as the fragment 
of steel which she had found in her uncle's skull. 

" Then all at once her heart grew cold 
In thinking of that deed of old. 
Her color changed through grief and ire 
From deadly pale to glowing fire. 
With sorrow she exclaimed : ' Alas ! 
Oh, woe ! what has now come to pass ? 
Who carried here this weapon dread. 
By which mine uncle was struck dead ? 
And he who slew him, Tristan hight. 
Who gave it to this minstrel knight ? ' " 

Gottfried von Strassburg (Dippold's tr.). 


Morold's murderer lay helpless before her, and Iseult, animated 
by the spirit of vengeance, which was considered a sacred duty 
among the people of the time, was about to slay Tristan, when 
he opened his eyes and disarmed her by a glance. Her mother 
further hindered her carrying out her hostile intentions by telling 
her that Tristan had atoned for his crime by delivering the peo- 
ple from the power of the dragon. 

As soon as Tristan had quite recovered, he appeared at court, 
where he offered to prove at the point of his sword that the but- 
ler had no claim to the princess's hand. A duel was arranged, 
and the butler, disarmed by Tristan, confessed his lie. Tristan 
then produced the dragon's tongue and told his adventures ; but, to 
the general surprise, instead of suing for Iseult's hand for himself, 
he now asked it in the name of his uncle, King Mark of Cornwall. 

The young princess was none too well pleased at this unex- 
pected turn of affairs ; but, as princesses never had much to say 
The love about the choice of a husband, she obediently pre- 
potion. pared to accompany the embassy to Tintagel. Her 
mother, wishing to preserve her from a loveless marriage, now 
sought out all manner of herbs wherewith to brew one of those 
magic love potions which were popularly supposed to have un- 
limited powers. 

" Bethought her with her secret soul alone 
To work some charm for marriage unison, 
And strike the heart of Iseult to her lord 
With power compulsive more than stroke of sword." 

Swinburne, Tristram of Lyojtesse. 

This magic potion was put in a golden cup and intrusted to 
Brangwaine, the attendant of Iseult, with strict injunctions to guard 
the secret well, and to give the draught to her mistress and Mark 
to quaff together on their wedding day. 

"Therefore with marvelous herbs and spells she wrought 
To win the very wonder of her thought. 
And brewed it with her secret hands, and blest 


And drew and gave out of her secret breast 

To one her chosen and Iseult's handmaiden, 

Brangwain, and bade her hide from sight of men 

This marvel covered in a golden cup,. 

So covering in her heart the counsel up 

As in the gold the wondrous wine lay close." 

Swinburne, Tristram of Lyonesse. 

Brangwaine carefully carried this potion on board the ship, and 
placed it in a cupboard, whence she intended to produce it when 
the suitable moment came. Iseult embarked with the escort sent 
from Cornwall, and Tristan, in order to beguile the long, weary 
hours of the journey, entertained her with all the songs and stories 
that he knew. One day, after singing for some time, he asked 
his fair young mistress for a drink ; and she, going to the cup- 
board, drew out the magic potion, little guessing its power. 

As was customary in those days in offering wine to an honored 
guest, she first put it to her own lips and then handed it to the 
thirsty minstrel, who drained it greedily. They had no sooner 
drunk, however, than the draught, working with subtle power, 
suddenly kindled in their hearts a passionate love, destined to 
last as long as they both lived. 

" Now that the maiden and the man, 
Fair Iseult and Tristan, 
Both drank the drink, upon them pressed 
What gives the world such sore unrest, — 
Love, skilled in sly and prowling arts, — 
And swiftly crept in both their hearts ; 
So, ere of him they were aware, 
Stood his victorious banners there. 
He drew them both into his power ; 
One and single were they that hour 
That two and twofold were before." 

Gottfried von Strassburg {Bayard Taylor's tr.). 

After the first few hours of rapture had passed, the young peo- 
ple, who honorably intended to keep their word and conquer the 
fatal passion which had overwhelmed them, remained apart, and 


when Iseult landed in Cornwall her marriage was celebrated with 
Mark. Brangwaine, who knew all that had passed, tried to shield 
her mistress in every way, and blind the king, who is depicted as 
a very miheroic monarch, but little fitted to secure the affections 
of the proud young Iseult. 

This story of a love potion whose magic power none could 
resist, and of the undying love which it kindled in the unsuspect- 
Tristan and ing hearts of Tristan and Iseult, has been treated 
Iseult. in many ways by the different poets and prose 
writers who have handled it. In many of the older versions we 
have lengthy descriptions of stolen interviews, hairbreadth escapes, 
and tests of love, truth, and fidelity without number. 

In many respects the story is a parallel of that of Lancelot and 
Guinevere, although it contains some incidents which are duph- 
cated in the " Nibelungenlied " only. But throughout, the writers all 
aver that, owing to the magic draught, the lovers, however good 
their intentions, could not long exist without seeing each other. 

By means of this boundless love Tristan is said to have had 
an intuitive knowledge of Iseult's peril, for he hastened to rescue 
her from danger whenever events took a turn which might prove 
fatal to her. There are in some of these old romances pretty 
descriptions of scenery and of the signals used by the lovers to 
communicate with each other when forced by adverse circum- 
stances to remain apart. One of the poems, for instance, says 
that Tristan's love messages were written on chips of wood, which 
he floated down the little stream which flowed past his sylvan 
lodge and crossed the garden of the queen. 

The inevitable villain of the tale is one of Mark's squires, the spy 

Meliadus, also a very unheroic character, who told the king of 

Tristan's love for Iseult. Mark, who all through 

Meliadus. _ . ,.„ , . , . 

the story seems strangely indifferent to his beauti- 
ful wife, was not aware of the magic draught and its powerful 
effect, but Meliadus roi^sed him temporarily from his apathy. 

As the queen had been publicly accused, he compelled her to 
prove her innocence by undergoing the ordeal of fire, or by taking 

{Op,,, p.m.) 



a public oath that she had shown favor to none but him. On her 
way to the place where this ceremony was to take place, Iseult 
was carried across a stream by Tristan disguised as a beggar, 
and, at his request, kissed him in reward for this service. 

When called upon to take her oath before the judges and 
assembled court, Iseult could truthfully swear that, with the ex- 
ception of the beggar whom she had just publicly kissed, no 
other man than the king could ever boast of having received any 
special mark of her favor. 

Thus made aware of their danger, the lovers again decided to 
part, and Tristan, deprived for a time of the sight of Iseult, went 
mad, and performed many extraordinary feats ; for mediaeval 
poets generally drove their heroes into a frenzy when they did 
not know what else to do with them. Having recovered, and hop- 
ing to forget the fatal passion which had already caused him so 
much sorrow, Tristan now wandered off to Arthur's court, where 
he performed many deeds of valor. Thence he went on to various 
strange lands, distinguishing himself greatly everywhere, until he 
received from a poisoned arrow a wound which no doctor could 

Afraid to expose himself again to the fascinations of Iseult of 
Cornwall, Tristan went to Brittany, where another Iseult,— with 
the White Hands,— equally well skilled in medi- iseuit 
cine, tenderly nursed him back to health. This of Brittany, 
maiden, as good and gentle as she was beautiful, soon fell in love 
with the handsome knight, and hearing him sing a passionate lay 
in honor of Iseult, she fancied that her affections were returned, 
and that it was intended for her ear. 

" I know her by her mildness rare. 
Her snow-white hands, her golden hair ; 
I know her by her rich silk dress, 
And her fragile loveliness, — 
The sweetest Christian soul alive, 
Iseult of Brittany." 

Matthew Arnold, Tristram and Iseult, 


The brother of this fair Iseult saw her love for Tristan, and 
offered him her hand, which he accepted more out of gratitude 
than love, and in the hope that he might at last overcome the 
effects of the fatal draught. But, in spite of all his good resolu- 
tions, he could not forget Iseult of Cornwall, and treated his wife 
with such polite coolness that her brother's suspicions were finally 

Tristan, having conquered a neighboring giant and magician 
by the name of Beliagog, had granted him his life only upon con- 
dition that he would build a marvelous palace in the forest, and 
adorn it with paintings and sculptures, true to hfe, and represent- 
ing all the different stages of his passion for Iseult of Cornwall. 
When his brother-in-law, therefore, asked why he seemed to find 
no pleasure in the society of his young wife, Tristan led him to 
the palace, showed him the works of art, and told him all. Gan- 
hardin, the brother-in-law, must evidently have considered the 
excuse a good one, for he not only forgave Tristan, but implored 
him to take him to Cornwall, for he had fallen in love with the 
picture of Brangwaine, and hoped to win her for wife. On the 
way thither the young knights met with sundry adventures, deliv- 
ered Arthur from the power of the Lady of the Lake, and carried 
off Iseult, whom the cowardly Mark was ill treating, to Lance- 
lot's castle of Joyeuse Garde. There she became acquainted with 
Guinevere, and remained with her until Arthur brought about a 
general reconciliation. 

Then Tristan once more returned to Brittany, resumed his 
wonted knightly existence, and fought until he was wounded so 
sorely that Iseult of Brittany could not cure him. His faithful 
steward Kurvenal, hoping yet to save him, sailed for Cornwall to 
bring the other Iseult to the rescue ; and as he left he promised 
his master to change the black sails of the vessel for white in 
case his quest were successful. 

Tristan now watched impatiently for the returning sail, but just 
as it came into view he breathed his last. Some ill-advised writ- 
ers have ventured to state that Iseult of Brittany, whose jealousy 


had been aroused, was guilty of Tristan's death by falsely aver- 
ring, in answer to his feverish inquiry, that the long-expected 
vessel was wafted along by black sails ; but, according to other 
authorities, she remained gentle and lovable to the end. 

Iseult of Cornwall, speeding to the rescue of her lover, whom 
nothing could make her forget, and finding him dead, breathed 
her last upon his corpse. Both bodies were then Miracle of the 
carried to Cornwall, where they were interred in plants, 
separate graves by order of King Mark. But from the tomb of 
the dead minstrel there soon sprang a creeper, which, finding its 
way along the walls, descended into Iseult's grave. Thrice cut 
down by Mark's orders, the plant persisted in growing, thus em- 
phasizing by a miracle the passionate love which made this couple 
proverbial in the middle ages. There are in subsequent literature 
many parallels of the miracle of the plant which sprang from 
Tristan's tomb, as is seen by the Ballad of Lord Thomas and Fair 
Annet, and of Lord Lovel, where, as in later versions of the 
Tristan legend, a rose and a vine grew out of the respective graves 
and twined tenderly around each other. 

" And out of her breast there grew a red rose, 
And out of his breast a brier." 

Ballad of Lord LoveL 



Norse, Danish, and Swedish writers have frequently called 
public attention to the vast literary treasures which are contained 

Northern ™ the old sagas or tales of their forefathers. The 
sagas. work of northern scalds whose names in most cases 

are unknown to us, these stories relate the lives and adventures 
of the gods and heroes of the North. Many of these old sagas 
have been translated into various other European languages ; but 
Tegn6r, a Swedish writer of this century, has done most to revive 
a taste for them by making one of them the basis of a poem 
which is generally considered a masterpiece. 

Tegn6r's " Frithiof Saga " has been translated once at least 
into every European tongue, and more than eighteen times into 
English and German. Goethe spoke of the work with the 
greatest enthusiasm, and the tale, which gives a matchless picture 
of the life of our heathen ancestors in the North, has been the 
source of inspiration for important works of art. 

Although Tegn^r has chosen for his theme the Frithiof saga 
only, we find that that tale is the sequel to the older but less in- 
teresting Thorsten saga, of which we give here a very brief out- 
line, merely to enable the reader to understand clearly every 
allusion in the more modern poem. 

As is so frequently the case with these ancient tales, the story 
begins with Haloge (I>oki), who came north with Odin, and be- 
gan to reign over north Norway, which from him was called 
Halogaland. According to northern mythology, this god had 



two lovely daughters. They were carried off by bold suitors, 
who, banished from the mainland by Haloge's curses and magic 
spells, took refuge with their newly won wives upon neighboring 

Thus it happened that Haloge's grandson, Viking, was born 
upon the island of Bornholm, in the Baltic Sea, where he dwelt 
until he was fifteen, and where he became the Birth of 
largest and strongest man of his time. Rumors viking. 
of his valor finally reached Hunvor, a Swedish princess ; and, as 
she was oppressed by the attentions of a gigantic suitor whom 
none dared drive away, she quickly sent for Viking to deliver her. 

Thus summoned, the youth departed, after having received 
from his father a magic sword named Angurvadel, whose blows 
would prove fatal even to the giant suitor of Hunvor. A " holm- 
gang," the northern name for a duel, ensued, and Viking, having 
slain his antagonist, could have married the princess had it not 
been considered disgraceful for a Northman to marry before he 
was twenty. 

To beguile the time of waiting, Viking set out in a well-manned 
dragon ship ; and, cruising about the northern and southern seas, 
he met with countless adventures. During this time he was par- 
ticularly persecuted by the slain giant's kin, who were adepts in 
magic, and caused him to encounter innumerable perils by land 
and by sea. 

Aided and abetted by his bosom friend, Halfdan, Viking es- 
caped every danger, slew many of his foes, and, after recovering 
his promised bride, Hunvor, whom the enemy had carried off to 
India, he settled down in Sweden. His friend, faithful in peace 
as well as in war, settled near him, and married also, choosing 
for his wife Ingeborg, Hunvor's attendant. 

The saga now describes the long, peaceful winters, when the 
warriors feasted and listened to the tales of the scalds, rousing 
themselves to energetic efforts only when returning spring again 
permitted them to launch their dragon ships and set out once 
more upon their favorite piratical expeditions, In the olden story 


the bards relate with great gusto every phase of attack and 
defense dtiring cruise and raid, describe every blow given and 
received, and spare us none of carnage, or lurid flames which 
envelop both enemies and ships in common ruin. A fierce fight 
is often an earnest of future friendship, however, for we are told 
that Halfdan and Viking, having failed to conquer Njorfe, even 
after a most obstinate struggle, sheathed their swords and accepted 
him as a third in their close bond of friendship. 

On returning home after one of these customary raids, Viking 
lost his beloved wife ; and, after intrusting her child. Ring, to the 
care of a foster father, and undergoing a short period of mourn- 
ing, the brave warrior married again. This time his marital bliss 
was more lasting, for the saga reports that his second wife bore 
him nine stalwart sons. 

Njorfe, King of Uplands, in Norway, had, in the mean while, 
followed Viking's example, and he too rejoiced in a large family, 
nurnbering also nine brave sons. Now, although their fathers 
were united in bonds of the closest friendship, having sworn blood 
brotherhood according to the true northern rites, the young men 
were jealous of one another, and greatly inclined to quarrel. 

Notwithstanding this smoldering animosity, these youths often 
met ; and the saga relates that they used to play ball together. 

Early ball and gives a description of the earliest ball game on 
games. record in the northern annals. Viking's sons, as 
tall and strong as he, were inclined to be rather reckless of their 
opponents' welfare, and, judging from the following account, 
translated from the old saga, the players were often left in as 
sorry a condition as after a modern game. 

" The next morning the brothers went to the games, and gen- 
erally had the ball during the day ; they pushed men and let them 
fall roughly, and beat others. At night three men had their arms 
broken, and many were bruised or maimed." 

The game between Njorfe's and Viking's sons culminated in a 
disagreement, and one of the former nine struck one of the latter 
a dangerous and treacherous blow. Prevented from taking his 


revenge then and there by the interference of the spectators, the 
injured man made a trivial excuse to return to the ball ground 
alone ; and, meeting his assailant there, he killed him. 

When Viking heard that one of his sons had slain one of his 
friend's children, he was very indignant, and, mindful of his oath 
to avenge all Njorfe's wrongs, he banished the young murderer. 
The other brothers, on hearing this sentence, all vowed that they 
would accompany the exile, and so Viking sorrowfully bade them 
farewell, giving his sword Angurvadel to Thorsten, the eldest, 
and cautioning him to remain quietly on an island in Lake Wener 
until all danger of retaliation on the part of Njorfe's remaining 
sons was over. 

The young men obeyed : but Njorfe's sons, who had no boats 
to take them across the lake, soon made use of a conjuror's art to 
bring about a great frost, and, accompanied by many armed men, 
stole noiselessly over the ice to attack Thorsten and his brothers. 
A terrible carnage ensued, and only two of the attacking party 
managed to escape, leaving, as they fancied, all their foes among 
the dead. 

But when Viking came to bury his sons, he found that two of 
them, Thorsten and Thorer, were still alive, and he secretly con- 
veyed them to a cellar beneath his dwelling, where they recovered 
from their wounds. 

By magic arts Njorfe's two sons discovered that their oppo- 
nents were not dead, and soon made a second desperate but vain 
attempt to kill them. Viking saw that the quarrel would be in- 
cessantly renewed if his sons remained at home ; so he now sent 
them to Halfdan, whose court they reached after a series of ad- 
ventures which in many points resemble those of Theseus on his 
way to Athens. 

When spring came Thorsten embarked on a piratical excur- 
sion, and encountered Jokul, Njorfe's eldest son, who, in the 
mean while, had taken forcible possession of the kingdom of Sogn, 
after kilHng the king, banishing his heir, Bel6, and changing his 
beautiful daughter, Ingeborg, into the form of an old witch. 


Throughout the story Jokul is represented as somewhat of a 
coward, for he resorted by preference to magic when he wished to 
injure Viking's sons. Thus he stirred up great tempests, and Thor- 
sten, after twice suffering shipwreck, was saved from the waves by 
the witch Ingeborg, whom he promised to marry in gratitude for 
her good services. 

Thorsten, advised by her, went in search of Bele, replaced him 
on his hereditary throne, swore eternal friendship with him, and, 
the baleful spell being removed, married the beautiful Ingeborg, 
who dwelt with him at Framnas. 

Every spring Thorsten and Bel6 now set out together in their 
ships ; and, joining forces with Angantyr, a foe whose mettle they 
Thorsten and had duly tested, they proceeded to recover pos- 
s«i^- session of a priceless treasure, a magic dragon ship 

named Ellida, which ^gir, god of the sea, had once given to 
Viking in reward for hospitable treatment, and which had been 
stolen from him. 

" A royal gift to behold, for the swelling planks of its framework 
Were not fastened with nails, as is wont, but grown in together. 
Its shape was that of a dragon when swimming, but forward 
Its head rose proudly on high, the throat with yellow gold flaming ; 
Its belly was spotted with red and yellow, but back by the rudder 
Coiled out its mighty tail in circles, all scaly with silver ; 
Black wings with edges of red ; when all were expanded 
Ellida raced with the whistling storm, but outstript the eagle. 
When filled to the edge with warriors, it sailed o'er the waters, 
You'd deem it a floating fortress, or warlike abode of a monarch. 
The ship was famed far and wide, and of ships was first in the North." 

Tegn^r, Frithiof Saga (Spalding's tr.). 

The next season, Thorsten, Bel6, and Angantyr conquered the 
Orkney Islands, which were given as kingdom to the latter, he 
voluntarily pledging himself to pay a yearly tribute to Bel6. 
Next Thorsten and Bel6 went in quest of a magic ring, or armlet, 
once forged by Volund, the smith, and stolen by Sot6, a famous 


This bold robber was so afraid lest some one should gain pos- 
session of the magic ring, that he had buried himself alive with it 
in a mound in Bretland. Here his ghost was said to keep con- 
stant watch over it, and when Thorsten entered his tomb, Bele 
heard the frightful blows given and received, and saw lurid 
gleams of supernatural fire. 

When Thorsten finally staggered out of the mound, pale and 
bloody, but triumphant, he refused to speak of the horrors he 
had encountered to win the coveted treasure, nor would he ever 
vouchsafe further information than this : 

" 'Dearly bought is the prize,' said he often, 
' For I trembled but once in my life, and 'twas when I seized it ! ' " 

Tegn^r, Fritkiof Saga (Spaldmg*s tr.). 

Thus owner of the three greatest treasures in the North, Thor- 
sten returned home to Framnas, where Ingeborg bore him a 
fine boy, Frithiof, the playmate of Halfdan and -BirVti of 
Helg^, Belt's sons. The three youths were already Frithiof and 
well grown when Ingeborg, Belt's httle daughter, "^* °^^' 
was bom, and as she was intrusted to the care of Hilding, 
Frithiof's foster father, the children grew up in perfect amity. 

"Jocund they grew, in guileless glee; 
Young Frithiof was the sapling tree ; 
In budding beauty by his side, 
Sweet Ingeborg, the garden's pride." 

Tegn4k, Frithiof Saga (Longfellow's tr.). 

Frithiof soon became hardy and fearless under his foster 
father's training, and Ingeborg rapidly developed all the sweetest 
traits of female loveliness. Both, however, were happiest when 
together ; and as they grew older their childish affection daily be- 
came deeper and more intense, until Hilding, perceiving this state 
of affairs, bade the youth remember that he was only a subject, 
and therefore no mate for the king's only daughter. 


" But Hilding said, ' O foster son, 
Set not thy heart her love upon. 
For Destiny thy wish gainsaid ; 
King Bele's daughter is the maid ! 

" 'From Odin's self, in starry sky. 
Descends her ancestry so high ; 
But thou art Thorsten's son, so yield, 
And leave to mightier names the field.' " 

Tegn^r, Friikiof Saga (Spalding's tr.). 

These wise admonitions came too late, however, and Frithiof 
vehemently declared that he would win the fair Ingeborg for his 
Frithiofs love bride in spite of all obstacles and his comparatively 
for Ingeborg. humble Origin. 

Shortly after this Bel6 and Thorsten met for the last time, near 
the magnificent shrine of Balder, where the king, feeling that his 
end was near, had convened a solemn assembly, or Thing, of all his 
principal subjects, in order to present his sons Helg6 and Halfdan 
to the people as his chosen successors. The young heirs were 
very coldly received on this occasion, for Helg6 was of a somber 
and taciturn disposition, and inclined to the life of a priest, and 
Halfdan was of a weak, eiieminate nature, and noted for his 
cowardice. Frithiof, who was present, and stood beside them, 
cast them both in the shade, and won many admiring glances from 
the throng. 

"But after them came Frithiof, in mantle blue — 
He by a head was taller than th' other two. 
He stood between the brethren, as day should light 
Between the rosy morning and darksome night." 

Tegn^r, Frithwf Saga (Spalding's tr.). 

After giving his last instructions to his sons, and speaking kindly 
to Frithiof, who was his favorite, the old king turned to his life- 
long companion, Thorsten, to take leave of him, but the old war- 
rior declared that they would not long be parted. Bel6 then spoke 
again to his sons, and bade them erect his howe, or funeral mound. 


within sight of that of Thorsten, that their spirits might commune, 
and not be sundered even in death. 

" ' But lay us gently, children, where the blue wave, 
Beating harmonious cadence, the shore doth lave ; 
Its murmuring song is pleasant unto the soul, 
And like a lamentation its ceaseless roll. 

" ' And when the moon's pale luster around us streams. 
And midnight dim grows radiant with silver beams, 
There will we sit, O Thorsten, upon our graves, • 

And talk of bygone battles by the dark waves. 

" ' And now, farewell, my children ! Come here no more ; 
Our road lies to Allfather's far-distant shore. 
E'en as the troubled river sweeps to the sea : 
By Frey and Thor and Odin blessed may ye be.' " 

TEGNf R, Frithiqf Saga (Spalding's tr.). 

These instructions were all piously obeyed when the aged com- 
panions had breathed their last. Then the brothers, Helge and 
Half dan, began to rule their kingdom, while Frithiof , Heige and 
their former playmate, withdrew to his own place Haifdan. 
at Framnas, a very fertile homestead, lying in a snug valley 
closed in by the towering mountains and the ever-changing ocean. 

" Three miles extended around the fields of the homestead ; on 
three sides 

Valleys and mountains and hills, but on the fourth side was the 

Birch-woods crowned the summits, but over the down-sloping hill- 

Flourished the golden corn, and man-high was waving the rye- 

Tegn^r, Friikiof Saga (Longfellow's tr.). 

But although surrounded by faithful retainers, and blessed with 
much wealth and the possession of the famous sword Angurvadel, 
the Volund ring, and the matchless dragon ship Ellida, Frithiof 
was unhappy, because he could no longer see the fair Ingeborg 


daily. With the returning spring, however, all his former spirits 
returned, for both kings came to visit him, accompanied by their 
fair sister, with whom he lived over the happy childish years, and 
spent long hours in cheerful companionship. As they were thus 
constantly thrown together, Frithiof soon made known to Ingeborg 
his deep affection, and received in return an avowal of her love. 

" He sat by her side, and he pressed her soft hand, 
And he felt a soft pressure responsive and bland ; 
, Whilst his love-beaming gaze 

Was returned as the sun's in the moon's placid rays." 

Tegn^r, Frithiof Saga (Longfellow's tr.). 

When the visit was over and the guests had departed, Frithiof 
informed his confidant and chief companion, Bjorn, of his deter- 

Frithiofs mination to follow them and openly ask for Inge- 
suit, borg's hand. His ship was prepared, and after a 
swift sail touched the shore near Balder's shrine. Discerning the 
royal brothers seated in state on Bele's tomb to listen to the peti- 
tions of their subjects, Frithiof immediately presented himself 
before them, and manfully made his request, adding that the old 
king had always loved him and would surely have granted his 

" They were seated on Bele's tomb, and o'er 

The common folk administered law. 

But Frithiof speaks. 
And his voice re-echoes round valleys and peaks. 

" 'Ye kings, my love is Ingborg fair; 

To ask her in marriage I here repair; 

And what I require 
I here maintain was King Bele's desire. 

" ' He let us grow in Hilding's care, 

Like two young saplings, year by year ; 

And therefore, kings. 
Unite the full-grown trees with golden rings.'" 

Tegn4r, Frithiof Saga (Spalding's tr.). 


But although he promised lifelong fealty and the service of his 
strong right arm in exchange for the boon he craved, Helg6 con- 
temptuously dismissed him. Enraged at the insult thus publicly 
received, Frithiof raised his invincible sword ; but, remembering 
that he stood on a consecrated spot, he spared the king, only 
cutting the royal shield in two to show the strength of his blade, 
and striding back to his ship, he embarked and sailed away in sul- 
len silence. 

" And lo ! cloven in twain at a stroke 
Fell King Helge's gold shield from its pillar of oak: 
At the clang of the blow, 
The live started above, the dead started below.'' 

Tegn^r, Frithiof Saga (Longfellow's tr,). 

Just after his departure came messengers from Sigurd Ring, 
the aged King of Ringric, in Norway, who, having lost his wife, 
sent to Helg6 and Halfdan to ask Ingeborg's hand sigurd Ring 
in marriage. Before answering this royal suitor, a suitor. 
Helg6 consulted the Vala, or prophetess, and the priests, and as 
they all declared that the omens were not in favor of this mar- 
riage, he gave an insolent refusal to the messengers. This impoli- 
tic conduct so offended the would-be suitor that he immediately 
collected an army and prepared to march against the Kings of 
Sogn to avenge the insult with his sword. When the rumor of his 
approach reached the cowardly brothers they were terrified, and 
fearing to encounter the foe alone, they sent Hilding to Frithiof 
to implore his aid. 

Hilding gladly undertook the mission, although he had not 
much hope of its success. He found Frithiof playing chess with 
a friend, Bjorn, and immediately made known his errand. 

" ' From Bele's high heirs 
I come with courteous words and prayers : 
Disastrous tidings rouse the brave ; 
On thee a nation's hope relies. 


In Balder's fane, griefs loveliest prey, 
Sweet Ing'borg weeps the livelong day : 
Say, can her tears unheeded fall. 
Nor call her champion to her side ? ' " 

Tegn^r, Frithiqf Saga (Longfellow's tr.). 

But Frithiof was so deeply offended that even this appeal in 
the name of his beloved could not move him. Quietly he con- 
tinued his game of chess, and, when it was ended, told Hilding 
that he had no answer to give. Rightly concluding that Frithiof 
would lend the kings no aid, Hilding returned to Helge and Half- 
dan, who, forced to fight without their bravest leader, preferred 
to make a treaty with Sigurd Ring, promising to give him not 
only their sister Ingeborg, but also a yearly tribute. 

While they were thus engaged at Sogn Sound, Frithiof has- 
tened to Balder's temple, where, as Hilding had declared, he found 

At Balder's Ingeborg a prey to grief. Now although it was 
shrine. considered a sacrilege for man and woman to ex- 
change a word in the sacred building, Frithiof could not see his 
beloved in tears without attempting to console her ; and, forget- 
ting all else, he spoke to her and comforted her. He repeated 
how dearly he loved her, quieted all her apprehensions of the gods' 
anger by assuring her that Balder, the good, must view their inno- 
cent passion with approving eyes, said that love as pure as theirs 
could defile no sanctuary, and plighted his troth to her before 
the shrine. 

" ' What whisper you of Balder's ire ? 
The pious god — he is not wrath. 
He loves himself, and doth inspire 
Our love — the purest he calls forth. 
The god with true and steadfast heart, 
The sun upon his glittering form. 
Is not his love for Nanna part 
Of his own nature, pure and warm ? 

" ' There is his image ; he is near. 
How mild he looks on me — how kind ! 





A sacrifice to him I'll bear, 

The offer of a loving mind. 

Kneel down with me ; no better gift, 

No fairer sure for Balder is. 

Than two young hearts, whose love doth lift 

Above the world almost like his.' " 

Tegn^r, Frithiof Saga (Spalding's tr.). 

Reassured by this reasoning, Ingeborg no longer refused to see 
and converse with Frithiof; and during the kings' absence the 
young lovers met every day, and plighted their troth with Volund's 
ring, which Ingeborg solemnly promised to send back to her lover 
should she break her promise to live for him alone. Frithiof 
lingered there until the kings' return, when, for love of Ingeborg 
the fair, he again appeared before them, and pledged himself to 
free them from their thraldom to Sigurd Ring if they would only 
reconsider their decision and promise him their sister's hand. 

" ' War is abroad. 
And strikes his echoing shield within our borders ; 
Thy crown and land. King Helge, are in danger; 
Give me thy sister's hand, and I will use 
Henceforth my warlike force in thy defense. 
Let then the wrath between us be forgotten. 
Unwillingly I strive 'gainst Ingborg's brother. 
Secure, O king, by one fraternal act 
Thy golden crown and save thy sister's heart. 
Here is my hand. By Thor, I ne'er again 
Present it here for reconciliation.' " 

Tegn^e, Frithiof Saga (Spalding's tr.). 

But although this offer was hailed with rapture by the assem- 
bled warriors, it was again scornfully rejected by Helge, who de- 
clared that he would have granted it had not Fri- Frithiof in 
thiof proved himself unworthy of all confidence by disgrace, 
defiling the temple of the gods. Frithiof tried to defend him- 
self; but as he had to plead guilty to the accusation of having 
conversed with Ingeborg at Balder's shrine, he was convicted of 
having broken the law, and, in punishment therefor, condemned 



to sail off to the Orkney Islands to claim tribute from the king, 

Before he sailed, however, he once more sought Ingeborg, and 
vainly tried to induce her to elope with him by promising her a 
home in the sunny south, where her happiness should be his law, 
and where she should rule over his subjects as his honored wife. 
Ingeborg sorrowfully refused to accompany him, saying that, since 
her father was no more, she was in duty bound to obey her brothers 
implicitly, and could not marry without their consent. 

" ' But Helge is my father, 
Stands in my father's place ; on his consent 
Depends my hand, and Bele's daughter steals not 
Her earthly happiness, how near it be.' " 

Tegn^r, Frithiqf Saga (Spalding's tr.). 

After a heartrending parting scene, Frithiof embarked upon 
Ellida, and sorrowfully sailed out of the harbor, while Ingeborg 
wept at his departure. When the vessel was barely out of 
sight, Helg6 sent for two witches named Held and Ham, bid- 
ding them begin their incantations, and stir up such a tempest 
at sea that it would be impossible for even the god-given vessel 
Ellida to withstand its fury, and all on board would perish. The 
witches immediately complied ; and with Helg6's aid they soon 
stirred up a storm unparalleled in history. 

" Helge on the strand 

Chants his wizard-spell, 

Potent to command 

Fiends of earth or hell. 
Gathering darkness shrouds the sky ; 
Hark, the thunder's distant roll ! 
Lurid lightnings, as they fly, 
Streak with blood the sable pole. 
Ocean, boiling to its base. 
Scatters wide its wave of foam ; 
Screaming, as in fleetest chase. 
Sea-birds seek their island home." 

'^'EG^^'R^ Frithiof Saga (Longfellow's tr.). 


In spite of tossing waves and whistling blasts, Frithiof sang a 
cheery song to reassure his frightened crew ; but when the peril 
grew so great that his exhausted men gave them- 
selves up for lost, he bade Bjorn hold the rudder, ^ tempest, 
and himself climbed up to the mast top to view the horizon. 
While perched up there he descried a whale, upon which the two 
witches were riding at ease. Speaking to his good ship, which 
was gifted with the power of understanding and obeying his 
words, he now ran down both witches and whale, and the sea 
was reddened with their blood. No sooner had they sunk than 
the wind fell, the waves ceased to heave and toss as before, and 
soon fair weather again smiled over the seas. 

"Now the storm has flown. 
The sea is calm awhile ; 
A gentle swell is blown 
Against the neighboring isle. 

"Then at once the sun arose, 
Like a king who mounts his throne, 
Vivifies the world and throws 
His light on billow, field, and stone. 
His new-born beams adorn awhile 
A dark green grove on rocky top. 
All recognize a sea-girt isle. 
Amongst the distant Orkney's group." 

Tegn^r, Frithiof Saga (Spalding's tr.). 

Exhausted by their previous superhuman efforts and by the 
bailing of their water-logged vessel, the men were too weak to 
land when they at last reached the Orkney Islands, and had to 
be carried ashore by Bjorn and Frithiof, who gently laid them 
down on the sand, bidding them rest and refresh themselves after 
all the hardships they had endured. 

"Tired indeed are all on board, 
All the crew of FrithioPs men. 
Scarce supported by a sword, 
Can they raise themselves again. 


Bjorn takes four of them ashore, 
On his mighty shoulders wide, 
Frithiof singly takes twice four. 
Places them the fire beside. 
' Blush not, ye pale ones, 
The sea's a valiant viking; 
'Tis hard indeed to fight 
Against the rough sea waves. 
Lo ! there comes the mead horn 
On golden feet descending, 
To warm our frozen limbs. 
Hail to Ingeborg ! ' " 

Tegn^r, Frithiof Saga (Spalding's tr.). 

The arrival of Frithiof and his men had been seen by the 
viratchman of Angantyr's castle, who immediately informed his 
master of all he had seen. The jarl exclaimed that the ship which 
had weathered such a gale could be none but Ellida, and that its 
captain was doubtless Frithiof, Thorsten's gallant son. At these 
words one of his Berserkers, Atl6, caught up his weapons and 
strode out of the hall, vowing that he would challenge Frithiof, 
and thus satisfy himself concerning the veracity of the tales he 
had heard of the young hero's courage. 

Although still greatly exhausted, Frithiof immediately accepted 

Atl^'s challenge, and, after a sharp encounter, threw his antago- 

Atie's nist, whom he would have slain then and there had 

chaUenge. his sword been within reach. Atle saw his inten- 
tion, and bade him go in search of a weapon, promising to remain 
motionless during his absence. Frithiof, knowing that such a 
warrior's promise was inviolable, immediately obeyed ; but when 
he returned with his sword, and found his antagonist calmly 
awaiting death, he relented, and bade Atl6 rise and live. 

" With patience long not gifted, 
Frithiof the foe would kill. 
And Angurvadel lifted. 
But Atle yet lay still. 


This touched the hero's soul ; 
He stayed the sweeping brand 
Before it reached its goal, 
And took the fall'n one's hand." 

iKG^t^, Friikiof Saga {Spalding's tr.). 

Together these doughty warriors then wended their way to 
Angantyr's halls, where they found a festal board awaiting them, 
and there they ate and drank, sang songs, and recounted stories 
of thrilling adventure by land and by sea. 

At last, however, Frithiof made known his errand. Angantyr 
said that he owed no tribute to Helg6, and would pay him none ; 
but that he would give the required sum as a free gift to his old 
friend Thorsten's son, leaving him at liberty to dispose of it as 
he pleased. Then, since the season was unpropitious, and storms 
continually swept over the sea, the king invited Frithiof to tarry 
with him ; and it was only when the gentle spring breezes were 
blowing once more that he at last allowed him to depart. 

After sailing over summer seas, wafted along by favorable 
winds for six days, Frithiof came in sight of his home, Framnas, 
which had been reduced to a shapeless heap of ashes by Helg6's 
orders. Sadly steering past the ruins, he arrived at Baldershage, 
where Hilding met him and informed him that Ingeborg was now 
the wife of Sigurd Ring. When Frithiof heard these tidings he 
flew into a Berserker rage, and bade his men destroy all the ves- 
sels in the harbor, while he strode up to the temple alone in search 
of Helg6. He found him there before the god's image, roughly 
flung Angantyr's heavy purse of gold in his face, and when, as 
he was about to leave the temple, he saw the ring he had given 
Ingeborg on the arm of Helg^'s wife, he snatched it away from 
her. In trying to recover it she dropped the god's image, which 
she had just been anointing, into the fire, where it was rapidly 
consumed, and the rising flames soon set the temple roof in a 

Frithiof, horror-stricken at the sacrilege which he had involun- 
tarily occasioned, after vainly trying to extinguish the flames and 


save the costly sanctuary, escaped to his ship and waiting com-- 
panions, to begin the weary Ufe of an outcast and exile. 

" The temple soon in ashes lay, 
Ashes the temple's bower ; 
WofuUy Frithiof goes his way, 
Weeps in the morning hour." 

T-Ecnt^f Frithiof Sa^a (Spalding's tr.). 

Helg^'s men started in pursuit, hoping to overtake and punish 
him ; but when they reached the harbor they could not find a 

Frithiof an single seaworthy craft, and were forced to stand on 
«''''«^- the shore in helpless inactivity while EUida's great 
sails slowly sank beneath the horizon. It was thus that Frithiof 
sadly saw his native land vanish from sight ; and as it disappeared 
he breathed a tender farewell to the beloved country which he 
never expected to see again. 

" ' World-circle's brow. 
Thou mighty North ! 
I may not go 
Upon thine earth ; 
But in no other 
I love to dwell ; 
Now, hero-mother, 
Farewell, farewell ! 

" ' Farewell, thou high 
And heavenly one, 
Night's sleeping eye. 
Midsummer sun. 
Thou clear blue sky, 
Like hero's soul, 
Ye stars on high. 
Farewell, farewell! 

" 'Farewell, ye mounts 
Where Honour thrives, 
And Thor recounts 
Good warriors' lives. 


Ye azure lakeSj 
I know so well. 
Ye woods and brakes, 
Farewell, farewell ! 

" ' Farewell, ye tombs. 
By billows blue, 
The lime tree blooms 
Its snow on you. 
The Saga sets 
In judgment well 
What earth forgets ; 
Farewell, farewell ! 

" ' Farewell the heath, 
The forest hoar 
I played beneath. 
By streamlet's roar. 
To childhood's friends 
Who loved me well. 
Remembrance sends 
A fond farewell ! 

" ' My love is foiled. 
My rooftree rent, 
Mine honour soiled. 
In exile sent ! 
We turn from earth, 
On ocean dwell, 
But, joy and mirth, 
Farewell, farewell ! ' " 

TmysiTi, Friihiof Saga (Spalding's tr.). 

After thus parting from his native land, Frithiof took up the 
life of a pirate, rover, or viking, whose code was never to settle 
anywhere, to sleep on his shield, to fight and neither give nor 
take quarter, to protect the ships which paid him tribute and sack 
the others, and to distribute all the booty to his men, reserving 
for himself nothing but the glory of the enterprise. Sailing and 
fighting thus, Frithiof visited many lands, and came to the sunny 


isles of Greece, whither he would fain have carried Ingeborg as 
his bride; but wherever he went and whatever he did, he was 
always haunted by the recollection of his beloved and of his 
native land. 

Overcome at last by homesickness, Frithiof returned northward, 
determined to visit Sigurd Ring's court and ascertain whether 
At the court of lugcborg was really well and happy. Steering his 
Sigurd Ring, ycssel up the Vik (the main part of the Christiania- 
Fiord), he intrusted it to Bjorn's care, and alone, on foot, and 
enveloped in a tattered mantle, which he used as disguise, he went 
to the court of Sigurd Ring, arriving there just as the Yuletide 
festivities were being held. As if in reality nothing more than the 
aged beggar he appeared, Frithiof sat down upon the bench near 
the door, where he became the butt of the courtiers' rough jokes ; 
but when one of his tormentors approached too closely he caught 
him in his powerful grasp and swung him high above his head. 

Terrified by this proof of great strength, the courtiers silently 
withdrew, while Sigurd Ring invited the old man to remove his 
mantle, take a seat beside him, and share his good cheer. Frithiof 
accepted the invitation thus cordially given, and when he had laid 
aside his squalid outward apparel all started with surprise to see 
a handsome warrior, richly clad, and adorned with a beautiful ring. 

" Now from the old man's stooping head is loosed the sable hood, 
When lo ! a young man smiling stands, where erst the old one stood. 
See ! From his lofty forehead, round shoulders broad and strong, 
The golden locks flow glistening, like sunUght waves along. 

" He stood before them glorious in velvet mantle blue. 
His baldrics broad, with silver worked, the artist's skill did shew ; 
For round about the hero's breast and round about his waist, 
The beasts and birds of forest wild, embossed, each other chased. 

•' The armlet's yellow luster shone rich upon his arm ; 
His war sword by his side — in strife a thunderbolt alarm. 
Serene the hero cast his glance around the men of war ; 
Bright stood he there as Bnlder, as tall as Asa Thor." 

Tegn4r, Frithiof Saga (Spalding's tr.). 



But although his appearance was so unusual, none of the peo- 
ple present recognized him save Ingeborg only; and when the 
king asked him who he was he evasively replied that he was 
Thiolf (a thief), that he came from Ulf's (the wolf's), and had 
been brought up in Anger (sorrow or grief). Notwithstanding 
this unenticing account of himself, Sigurd Ring invited him to 
remain ; and Frithiof, accepting the proffered hospitality, became 
the constant companion of the king and queen, whom he accom- 
panied wherever they went. 

One day, when the royal couple were seated in a sleigh and 
skimming along a frozen stream, Frithiof sped on his skates before 
them, performing graceful evolutions, and cutting Ingeborg's 
name deep in the ice. All at once the ice broke and the sleigh 
disappeared ; but Frithiof, springing forward, caught the horse 
by the bridle, and by main force dragged them all out of their 
perilous position. 

When spring came, Sigurd Ring invited Frithiof to accompany 
him on a hunting expedition. The king became separated from 
all the rest of his suite, and saying that he was too weary to con- 
tinue the chase, he lay down to rest upon the cloak which Frithiof 
spread out for him, resting his head upon his young guest's knee. 

"Then threw Frithiof down his mantle, and upon the greensward 
And the ancient king so trustful laid on Frithiof's knee his head ; 
Slept, as calmly as the hero sleepeth after war's alarms 
On his shield, calm as an infant sleepeth in its mother's arms." 

Tegn^r, Frithiof Saga (Longfellow's tr.). 

While the aged king was thus reposing, the birds and beasts 
of the forest softly drew near, bidding Frithiof take advantage of 
his host's unconsciousness to slay him and recover Frithiofs 
the bride of whom he had been unfairly deprived. loyalty. 
But although Frithiof understood the language of birds and 
beasts, and his hot young heart clamored for his beloved, he 
utterly refused to listen to them ; and, fearing lest he should in- 


voluntarily harm his trusting host, he impulsively flung his sword 
far from him into a neighboring thicket. 

A few moments later Sigurd Ring awoke from his feigned sleep, 
and after telling Frithiof that he had recognized him from the first, 
had tested him in many ways, and had always found his honor 
fully equal to his vaunted courage, he bade him be patient a little 
longer, for his end was very near, and said that he would die 
happy if he could leave Ingeborg, his infant heir, and his king- 
dom in such good hands. Then, taking the astonished Frithiof's 
arm, Sigurd Ring returned home, where, feeling death draw near, 
he dedicated himself anew to Odin by carving the Geirs-odd, or 
sacrificial runes, deeply in his aged chest. 

" Bravely he slashes 

Odin's red letters. 
Blood-runes of heroes, on arm and on breast. 

Brightly the splashes 

Of life's flowing fetters 
Drip from the silver of hair-covered chest." 

1^Gii±Vi, Friikiof Saga (Spalding's tr.). 

When this ceremony was finished, Sigurd Ring laid Ingeborg's 
hand in Frithiof's, and, once more commending her to the young 
hero's loving care, closed his eyes and breathed his last. 

All the nation assembled to raise a mound for Sigurd Ring; 
and by his own request the funeral feast was closed by a banquet 

Betrothal *° Celebrate the betrothal of Ingeborg and Frithiof. 
of Frithiof and The latter had won the people's enthusiastic ad- 

ingeborg. miration ; but when they would fain have elected 
him king, Frithiof raised Sigurd Ring's litde son up on his shield 
and presented him to the assembled nobles as their future king, 
publicly swearing to uphold him until he was of age to defend 
himself. The child, weary of his cramped position on the shield, 
boldly sprang to the ground as soon as Frithiof's speech was 
ended, and ahghted upon his feet. This act of daring in so 
small a child was enough to win tlie affection and admiration of 
all his rude subjects. 


According to some accounts, Frithiof now made war against 
Ingeborg's brothers, and after conquering them, allowed them to 
retain their kingdom only upon condition of their paying him a 
yearly tribute. Then he and Ingeborg remained in Ringric until 
the young king was able to assume the government, when they 
repaired to Hordaland, a kingdom Frithiof had obtained by con- 
quest, and which he left to his sons Gungthiof and Hunthiof. 

But according to Tegndr's poem, Frithiof, soon after his second 
betrothal to Ingeborg, made a pious pilgrimage to his father's 
resting place, and while seated on the latter's funeral Frithiofs 
mound, plunged in melancholy and remorse at the vision, 
sight of the desolation about him, he was favored by a vision of a 
new temple, more beautiful than the first, within whose portals he 
beheld the three Norns. 

"And lo ! reclining on their runic shields 
The mighty Nomas now the portal fill ; 
Three rosebuds fair which the same garden yields, 
With aspect serious, but charming still. 
Whilst Urda points upon the blackened fields, 
The fairy temple Skulda doth reveal. 
When Frithiof first his dazzled senses cleared, 
Rejoiced, admired, the vision disappeared." 

Tegn^r, Frithiof Saga (Spalding's tr.). 

The hero immediately understood that the gods had thus 
pointed out to him a means of atonement, and spared neither 
wealth nor pains to restore Balder's temple and grove, which 
soon rose out of the ashes in more than their former splendor. 

When the temple was all finished, and duly consecrated to 
Balder's service, Frithiof received Ingeborg at the altar from her 
brothers' hands, and ever after lived on amicable terms with them. 

" Now stepped Halfdan in 
Over the brazen threshold, and with wistful look 
Stood silent, at a distance from the dreaded one. 
Then Frithiof loosed the Harness-hater from his thigh, 
Against the altar placed the golden buckler round. 


And forward came unarmed to meet his enemy : 
' In such a strife,' thus he commenced, with friendly voice, 
' The noblest he who first extends the hand of peace.' 
Then blushed King Halfdan deep, and drew his gauntlet oflf, 
And long-divided hands now firmly clasped each other, 
A mighty pressure, steadfast as the mountain's base. 
The old man then absolved him from the curse which lay 
Upon the Varg i Veum,i on the outlawed man. 
And as he spake the words, fair Ingeborg came in. 
Arrayed in bridal dress, and followed by fair maids, 
E'en as the stars escort the moon in heaven's vault. 
Whilst tears suffused her soft and lovely eyes, she fell 
Into her brother's arms, but deeply moved he led 
His cherished sister unto Frithiof s faithful breast. 
And o'er the altar of the god she gave her hand 
Unto her childhood's friend, the darling of her heart." 

TKcatiL, Frithwf Saga (Spalding's tx.). 
1 Wolf in the sanctuaries. 



" Last from among the Heroes one came near, 
No God, but of the hero troop the chief — 
Regner, who swept the northern sea with fleets, 
And ruled o'er Denmark and the heathy isles, 
Living ; but Ella captured him and slew ; — 
A king whose fame then fill'd the vast of Heaven, 
Now time obscures it, and men's later deeds." 

Matthew Arnold, Balder Dead. 

Ragnar Lodbrok, who figures in history as the contemporary 
of Charlemagne, is one of the great northern heroes, to whom 
many mythical deeds of valor are ascribed. His Ragnar Lod- 
story has given rise not only to the celebrated Rag- •"■"'^ ^^e^- 
nar Lodbrok saga, so popular in the thirteenth century, but also 
to many poems and songs by ancient scalds and modern poets. 
The material of the Ragnar Lodbrok saga was probably largely 
borrowed from the Volsunga saga and from the saga of Dietrich 
von Bern, the chief aim of the ancient composers being to con- 
nect the Danish dynasty of kings with the great hero Sigurd, the 
slayer of Fafnir, and thereby to prove that their ancestor was no 
less a person than Odin. 

The hero of this saga was Ragnar, the son of Sigurd Ring and 
his first wife, Alfild. According to one version of the story, as 
we have seen, Sigurd Ring married Ingeborg, and died, leaving 
Frithiof to protect his young son. According to another, Sigurd 



Ring appointed Ragnar as his successor, and had him recognized 
as future ruler by the Thing before he set out upon his last mih- 
tary expedition. 

This was a quest for a new wife named Alfsol, a princess of 
Jutland, with whom, in spite of his advanced years, he had fallen 
passionately in love. Her family, however, rudely refused Sigurd 
Ring's request. When he came to win his bride by the force 
of arms, and they saw themselves defeated, they poisoned Alfsol 
rather than have her fall alive into the viking's hands. 

Sigurd Ring, finding a corpse where he had hoped to clasp a 
living and loving woman, was so overcome with grief that he now 
resolved to die too. By his orders Alfsol's body was laid in state 
on a funeral pyre on his best ship. Then, when the fire had been 
kindled, and the ship cut adrift from its moorings, Sigurd Ring 
sprang on board, and, stabbing himself, was burned with the fair 
maiden he loved. 

Ragnar was but fifteen years old when he found himself called 
upon to reign ; but just as he outshone all his companions in 
beauty and intelligence, so he could match the bravest heroes in 
courage and daring, and generally escaped uninjured from every 
battle, owing to a magic shirt which his mother had woven for 

" ' I give thee the long shirt. 
Nowhere sewn, 
Woven with a loving mind. 

Of hair • [obscure word]. 

Wounds will not bleed 

Nor will edges bite thee 

In the holy garment ; 

It was consecrated tc the gods.' " 

Ragytar Lodbrok Saga. 

Of course the young hero led out his men every summer upon 
some exciting viking expedition, to test their courage and supply 
them with plunder ; for all the northern heroes proudly boasted 
that the sword was their god and gold was their goddess. 


On one occasion Ragnar landed in a remote part of Norway, 
and having climbed one of the neighboring mountains, he looked 
down upon a fruitful valley inhabited by Lodgerda, 
a warrior maiden who delighted in the chase and 
all athletic exercises, and ruled over all that part of the country. 
Ragnar immediately resolved to visit this fair maiden ; and, see- 
ing her ma,nifold attractions, he soon fell in love with her and 
married her. She joined him in all his active pursuits; but in 
spite of all his entreaties, she would not consent to leave her na- 
tive land and accompany him home. 

After spending three years in Norway with Lodgerda, the young 
viking became restless and unhappy ; and learning that his king- 
dom had been raided during his prolonged absence, he parted 
from his wife in hot haste. He pursued his enemies to Whitaby 
and to Lym- Fiord, winning a signal victory over them in both 
places, and then reentered his capital of Hledra in triumph, amid 
the acclamations of his joyful people. 

He had not been resting long upon his newly won laurels when 
a northern seer came to his court, and showed him in a magic 
mirror the image of Thora, the beautiful daughter of Jarl Her- 
rand in East Gothland. Ragnar, who evidently considered him- 
self freed from all matrimonial bonds by his wife's refusal to ac- 
company him home, eagerly questioned the seer concerning the 
radiant vision. 

This man then revealed to him that Thora, having at her 
father's request carefully brought up a dragon from an egg 
hatched by a swan, had at last seen it assume such colossal pro- 
portions that it coiled itself all around the house where she dwelt. 
Here it watched over her with jealous care, allowing none to ap- 
proach except the servant who brought the princess her meals 
and who provided an ox daily for the monster's sustenance. Jarl 
Herrand had offered Thora's hand in marriage, and immense sums 
of gold, to any hero brave enough to slay this dragon ; but none 
dared venture within reach of its powerful jaws, whence came iire, 
venom, and noxious vapors. 


Ragnar, who as usual thirsted for adventure, immediately made 
up his mind to go and fight this dragon ; and, after donning a pe- 
culiar leather and woolen garment, all smeared over with pitch, 
he attacked and successfully slew the monster. 

" ' Nor long before 
In arms I reached the Gothic shore, 
To work the loathly serpent's death. 
I slew the reptile of the heath.'" 

Death Song ofRegner Lodirock (Herbert's tr.). 

In commemoration of this victory, Ragnar ever after bore also 
the name of Lodbrok (Leather Hose), although he laid aside this 
Origin of name garment as soon as possible, and appeared in royal 
Lodbrok. ggj^ {q receive his prize, the beautiful maiden 
Thora, whom he had delivered, and whom he now took to be his 

" ' My prize was Thora ; from that fight, 
'Mongst warriors am I Lodbrock hight. 
I pierced the monster's scaly side 
With steel, the soldier's wealth and pride.' " 

Death Song ofRegner Lddirock (Herbert's tr.) . 

Thora gladly accompanied Ragnar back to Hledra, lived hap- 
pily with him for several years, and bore him two sturdy sons, 
Agnar and Erik, who soon gave proof of uncommon courage. 
Such was Ragnar's devotion to his new wife that he even forbore 
to take part in the usual viking expeditions, to linger by her side. 
All his love could not long avail to keep her with him, however, 
for she soon sickened and died, leaving him an inconsolable 

To divert him from his great sorrow, his subjects finally pro- 
posed that he should resume his former adventvuous career, and 
prevailed upon him to launch his dragon ship once more and to 
set sail for foreign shores. Some time during the cruise their 
bread supply failed, and Ragnar steered his vessel into the port 


of Spangarhede, where he bade his men carry their flour ashore 
and ask the people in a hut which he descried there to help them 
knead and bake their bread. The sailors obeyed ; but when they 
entered the lowly hut and saw the filthy old woman who appeared 
to be its sole occupant, they hesitated to bespeak her aid. 

While they were deliberating what they should do, a beautiful 
girl, poorly clad, but immaculately clean, entered the hut ; and the 
old woman, addressing her as Krake (Crow), bade 
her see what the strangers wanted. They told her, 
and admiringly watched her as she deftly fashioned the dough into 
loaves and slipped them into the hot oven. She bade the sail- 
ors watch them closely, lest they should bum ; but these men 
forgot all about their loaves to gaze upon her as she flitted about 
the house, and the result was that their bread was badly burned. 

When they retiuned to the vessel, Ragnar Lodbrok reproved 
them severely for their carelessness, until the men, to justify them- 
selves, began describing the maiden Krake in such glowing terms 
that the chief finally expressed a desire to see her. With the 
view of testing her wit and intelligence, as well as her beauty, 
Ragnar sent a message bidding her appear before him neither 
naked nor clad, neither alone nor unaccompanied, neither fasting 
nor yet having partaken of any food. 

This singular message was punctually delivered, and Krake, 
who was as clever as beautiful, soon presented herself, with a fish 
net wound several times around her graceful form, her sheep dog 
beside her, and the odor of the leek she had bitten into still 
hovering over her ruby lips. 

Ragnar, charmed by her ingenuity no less than by her extreme 
beauty, then and there proposed to marry her. But Krake, who 
was not to be so lightly won, declared that he must first prove 
the depth of his affection by remaining constant to her for one 
whole year, at the end of which time she would marry him if he 
still cared to claim her hand. 

The year passed by; Ragnar returned to renew his suit, and 
Krake, satisfied that she had inspired no momentary passion, for- 


sook the aged couple and accompanied the great viking to Hle- 

dra, where she became queen of Denmark. She bore Ragnax 

, four sons, — Ivar, Biom, Hvitserk, and Rogenwald, 

Marriage of ' . 

Ragnar and — who from earUcst infancy longed to emulate the 
prowess of their father, Ragnar, and of their step- 
brothers, Erik and Agnar, who even in their youth were already 
great vikings. 

The Danes, however, had never fully approved of Ragnar's 
last marriage, and murmured frequently because they were obliged 
to obey a lowborn queen, and one who bore the vulgar name of 
Krake. Little by little these murmurs grew louder, and finally 
they came to Ragnar's ears while he was visiting Eystein, King 
of Svithiod (Sweden). Craftily his courtiers went to work, and fi- 
nally prevailed upon him to sue for the princess's hand. He did 
so, and left Sweden promising to divorce Krake when he reached 
home, and to return as soon as possible to claim his bride. 

As Ragnar entered the palace at Hledra, Krake came, as usual, 
to meet him. His conscience smote him, and he answered all 
her tender inquiries so roughly that she suddenly turned and 
asked him why he had made arrangements to divorce her and 
take a new wife. Surprised at her knowledge, for he fancied the 
matter still a secret, Ragnar Lodbrok asked who had told her. 
Thereupon Krake explained that, feeling anxious about him, she 
had sent her pet magpies after him, and that the birds had come 
home and revealed all. 

This answer, which perhaps gave rise to the common expres- 
sion, " A little bird told me," greatly astonished Ragnar. He was 
, , about to try to excuse himself when Krake, draw- 

Aslaug. •' ' 

ing herself up proudly, declared that while she was 
perfectly ready to depart, it was but just that he should now learn 
that her extraction was far less humble than he thought. She then 
proceeded to tell him that her real name was Aslaug, and that she 
was the daughter of Sigurd Fafnisbane (the slayer of Fafnir) and 
the beautiful Valkyr Brunhild. Her grandfather, or her foster 
father, Heimir, to protect her from the foes who would fain have 


taken her life, had hidden her in his hollow harp when she was 
but a babe. He had tenderly cared for her until he was treach- 
erously murdered by peasants, who had found her in the hollow 
harp instead of the treasure they sought there. 

" Let be — as ancient stories tell — 
Full knowledge upon Ragnar fell 
In lapse of time, that this was she 
Begot in the felicity 
Swift-fleeting of the wondrous twain. 
Who afterwards through change and pain 
Must live apart to meet in death." 

William Morris, The Fostering of Aslaug. 

In proof of her assertion, Aslaug then produced a ring and a 
letter which had belonged to her illustrious mother, and foretold 
that her next child, a son, would bear the image of a dragon in 
his right eye, as a sign that he was a grandson of the Dragon 
Slayer, whose memory was honored by all. 

Convinced of the truth of these statements, Ragnar no longer 
showed any desire to repudiate his wife ; but, on the contrary, he 
besought her to remain with him, and bade his subjects call her 

Shortly after this reconciliation the queen gave birth to a fifth 
son, who, as she had predicted, came into the world with a pecul- 
iar birthmark, to which he owed his name — Sigurd sigurd the 
the Snake-eyed. As it was customary for kings to Snake-eyed. 
intrust their sons to some noted warrior to foster, this child was 
given to the celebrated Norman pirate, Hastings, who, as soon 
as his charge had attained a suitable age, taught him the art of 
viking warfare, and took him, with his four elder brothers, to raid 
the coasts of all the southern countries. 

Ivar, the eldest of Ragnar and Aslaug's sons, although crip- 
pled from birth, and unable to walk a step, was always ready 
to join in the fray, into the midst of which he was borne on a 
shield. From this point of vantage he shot arrow after arrow, 
with fatal accuracy of aim. As he had employed much of his 


leisure time in learning runes ^ and all kinds of magic arts, he was 
often of great assistance to his brothers, who generally chose him 
leader of their expeditions. 

While Ragnar's five sons were engaged in fighting the English 
at Whitaby to punish them for plundering and setting fire to some 
Danish ships, Rogenwald fell to rise no more. 

Eystein, the Swedish king, now assembled a large army and 
declared war against the Danes, because their monarch had failed 
The enchanted to return at the appointed time and claim the bride 
cow. fQp whom he had sued. Ragnar would fain have 

gone forth to meet the enemy in person, but Agnar and Erik, his 
two eldest sons, craved permission to go in his stead. They met 
the Swedish king, but in spite of their valor they soon succumbed 
to an attack made by an enchanted cow. 

" ' We smote with swords ; at dawn of day 
Hundred spearmen gasping lay, 
Bent beneath the arrowy strife. 
Egill reft my son of life ; 
Too soon my Agnar's youth was spent, 
The scabbard thorn his bosom rent.' " 

Death Song ofRegner Lodhrock (Herbert's tr.). 

Ragnar was about to sally forth to avenge them, when Hast- 
ings and the other sons returned. Then Aslaug prevailed upon 
her husband to linger by her side and delegate the duty of re- 
venge to his sons. In this battle Ivar made use of his magic to 
slay Eystein's cow, which could make more havoc than an army 
of warriors. His brothers, having slain Eystein and raided the 
country, then sailed off to renew their depredations elsewhere. 

This band of vikings visited the coasts of England, Ireland, 
France, Italy, Greece, and the Greek isles, plundering, murder- 
ing, and burning wherever they went. Assisted by Hastings, the 
brothers took Wiflisburg (probably the Roman Aventicum), and 
even besieged Luna in Etruria. 

1 See Guerbei's Myths of Northern Lands, p. 39. 


As this city was too strongly fortified and too well garrisoned 
to yield to an assault, the Normans (as all the northern pirates 
were indiscriminately called in the South) resolved to secure it by 
stratagem. They therefore pretended that Hastings, their leader, 
was desperately ill, and induced a bishop to come out of the town 
to baptize him, so that he might die in the Christian faith. Three 
days later they again sent a herald to say that Hastings had died, 
and that his last wish had been to be buried in a Christian church. 
They therefore asked permission to enter the city unarmed, and 
bear their leader to his last resting place, promising not only to 
receive baptism, but also to endow with great wealth the church 
where Hastings was buried. 

The inhabitants of Luna, won by these specious promises, im- 
mediately opened their gates, and the funeral procession filed 
solemnly into the city. But, in the midst of the Hastings's 
mass, the coffin lid flew open, and Hastings sprang stratagem, 
out, sword in hand, and killed the officiating bishop and priests.. 
This example was followed by his soldiers, who produced the 
weapons they had concealed upon their persons, and slew all the 
inhabitants of the town. 

These lawless invaders were about to proceed to Romaburg 
(Rome), and sack that city also, but were deterred by a pilgrim 
whom they met. He told them that the city was so far away that he 
had worn out two pairs of iron-soled shoes in coming from thence. 
The Normans, believing this tale, which was only a stratagem 
devised by the quick-witted pilgrim, spared the Eternal City, 
and, reembarking in their vessels, sailed home. 

Ragnar Lodbrok, in the mean while, had not been inactive, but 
had continued his adventurous career, winning numerous battles, 
and bringing home much plunder to enrich his kingdom and 


" ' I have fought battles 
Fifty and one 
Which were famous ; 
I have wounded many men.' " 

Ragnar's Sons* Saga, 


The hero's last expedition was against Ella, King of Northum- 
berland. From the very outset the gods seemed to have decided 
that Ragnar should not prove as successful as usual. The poets 
tell us that they even sent the Valkyrs (battle maidens of northern 
mythology) to warn him of his coming defeat, and to teU him 
of the bhss awaiting him in Valhalla. 

" ' Regner ! tell thy fair-hair'd bride 
She must slumber at thy side ! 
Tell the brother of thy breast 
Even for him thy grave hath rest ! 
Tell the raven steed which bore thee 
When the wild wolf fled before thee, 
He too with his lord must fall, — 
There is room in Odin's Hall ! ' " 

Mrs. Hemans, Vatkyri'tr Song. 

In spite of this warning, Ragnar went on. Owing to the magic 
shirt he wore, he stood unharmed in the midst of the slain long 
Death of Rag- after all his brave followers had perished ; and it 
nar Lodbrok. ^^^ Qjjjy g^ftg,- g. whole day's fighting that the ene- 
my finally succeeded in making him a prisoner. Then the fol- 
lowers of Ella vainly besought Ragnar to speak and tell his name. 
As he remained obstinately silent they finally flung him into a den 
of snakes, where the reptiles crawled all over him, vainly trying to 
pierce the magic shirt with their venomous fangs. Ella perceived 
at last that it was this garment which preserved his captive from 
death, and had it forcibly removed. Ragnar was then thrust back 
amid the writhing, hissing snakes, which bit him many times. Now 
that death was near, the hero's tongue was loosened, not to give 
vent to weak complaints, but to chant a triumphant death song, 
in which he recounted his manifold battles, and foretold that his 
brave sons would avenge his cruel death. 

" ' Grim stings the adder's forked dart ; 
The vipers nestle in my heart. 
But soon, I wot, shall Vider's wand. 
Fixed in Ella's bosom stand. 


My youthful sons with rage will swell, 
Listening how their father fell ; 
Those gallant boys in peace unbroken 
Will never rest, till I be wroken [avenged].' " 

Death Song of Regner Lodbrock (Herbert's tr,). 

This heroic strain has been immortalized by ancient scalds and 
modem poets. They have all felt the same admiration for the 
dauntless old viking, who, even amid the pangs of death, gloried in 
his past achievements, and looked ardently forward to his sojourn 
in Valhalla. There, he fancied, he would still be able to indulge 
in warfare, his favorite pastime, and would lead the einheriar 
(spirits of dead warriors) to their daily battles. 

" ' Cease, my strain ! I hear a voice 
From realms where martial souls rejoice ; 
I hear the maids of slaughter call. 
Who bid me hence to Odin's haU : 
High seated in their blest abodes 
I soon shall quaff the drink of gods. 
The hours of life have glided by ; 
I fall, but smiUng shall I die.'" . 

Death Song of Regner Lodbrock (Herbert's tr.). 

Ragnar Lodbrok's sons had reached home, and were peacefully 
occupied in playing chess, when a messenger came to announce 
their father's sad end. In their impatience to Founding of 
avenge him they started out without waiting to London, 
collect a large force, and in spite of many inauspicious omens. 
Ella, who expected them, met them with a great host, composed 
not only of all his own subjects but also of many allies, among 
whom was King Alfred. In spite of their valor the Normans 
were completely defeated by the superior forces of the enemy, 
and only a few of them survived. Ivar and his remaining fol- 
lowers consented to surrender at last, provided that Ella would 
atone for their losses by giving them as much land as an oxhide 
would inclose. This seemingly trifling request was granted with- 


out demm-, nor could the king retract his promise when he saw 
that the oxhide, cut into tiny strips, inclosed a vast space of land, 
upon which the Normans now proceeded to construct an almost 
impregnable fortress, called Lunduna Burg (London). 

Here Ivar took up his permanent abode, while his brothers 
returned to Hledra. Little by little he alienated the affections of 
Ella's subjects, and won them over to him by rich gifts and art- 
ful flattery. When sure of their allegiance, he incited them to re- 
volt against the king ; and as he had solemnly sworn never to bear 
arms against Ella, he kept the letter of his promise by sending for 
his brothers to act as their leaders. 

As a result of this revolution Ella was made prisoner. Then 
the fierce vikings stretched him out upon one of those rude stone 

Death of altars which can still be seen in England, and ruth- 
^"^- lessly avenged their father's cruel death by cutting 

the bloody eagle upon him.i After Ella's death, Ivar became 
even more powerful than before, while his younger brothers con- 
tinued their viking expeditions, took an active part in all the 
piratical incursions of the time, and even, we are told, besieged 
Paris in the reign of Louis the Fat. 

Other Danish and Scandinavian vikings were equally venture- 
some and successful, and many eventually settled in the lands 
which they had conquered. Among these was the famous Rollo 
(Rolf Ganger), who, too gigantic in stature to ride horseback, 
always went on foot. He settled with his followers in a fertile 
province in northern France, which owes to them its name of 

The rude independence of the Northmen is well illustrated by 
their behavior when called to court to do homage for this new 
fief. Rollo was directed to place both his hands between those 
of the king, and take his vow of allegiance ; so he submitted with 
indifferent grace. But when he was told that he must conclude 
the ceremony by kissing the monarch's foot, he obstinately re- 
fused to do so. A proxy was finally suggested, and Rollo, calling 
1 See Guerber's Myths of Northern Lands, p. 85. 


one of his Berserkers, bade him take his place. The stalwart 
giant strode forward, but instead of kneeling, he grasped the 
king's foot and raised it to his lips. As the king did not expect 
such a jerk, he lost his balance and fell heavily backward. All 
the Frenchmen present were, of course, scandalized ; but the bar- 
barian refused to make any apology, and strode haughtily out of 
the place, vowing he would never come to court again. 

All the northern pirates were, as we have seen, called Nor- 
mans. They did not all settle in the North, however, for many 
of them found their way into Italy, and even to Constantinople. 
There they formed the celebrated Varangian Guard, and faith- 
fully watched over the safety of the emperor. It was probably 
one of these soldiers who traced the runes upon the stone lion 
which was subsequently transferred to Venice, where it now adorns 
the Piazza of St. Mark's. 

" Rose the Norseman chief Hardrada, like a lion from his lair; 
His the fearless soul to conquer, his the willing soul to dare. 
Gathered Skald and wild Varingar, where the raven banner shone. 
And the dread steeds of the ocean, left the Northland's frozen zone." 

Vail, Marries Vision. 



The ballads of the Cid, which number about two hundred, and 
some of which are of undoubted antiquity, were not committed 
Ballads of the 'o writing until the twelfth century, when a poem 
^'^^- of about three thousand lines was composed. This 

poem, descriptive of a national hero's exploits, was probably writ- 
ten about half a century after his death. The earliest manu- 
script of it now extant bears the date either 1245 or 1345. The 
Cid was a real personage, named Rodrigo Diaz, or Ruy Diaz. 
He was born in Burgos, in the eleventh centxury, and won the 
name of " Cid " (Conqueror) by defeating five Moorish kings, 
when Spain had been in the hands of the Arabs for more than 
three centuries. 

" Mighty victor, never vanquish'd, 

Bulwark of our native land. 
Shield of Spain, her boast and glory. 

Knight of the far-dreaded brand, 
Venging scourge of Moors and traitors. 

Mighty thunderbolt of war, 
Mirror bright of chivalry, 

Ruy, my Cid Campeador ! " 

Ancient Spanish Balltuls (LocMi\3xt*s tr.). 

Rodrigo was still a young and untried warrior when his aged 
father, Diego Laynez, was grossly and publicly insulted by Don 
Gomez, who gave him a blow in the face. Diego was far too 
feeble to seek the usual redress, arms in hand; but the insult 


THE CID. 283 

rankled deep in his heart, preventing him from either sleeping or 
eating, and imbittering every moment of his life. 

" Sleep was banish'd from his eyelids; 
Not a mouthful could he taste ; 
There he sat with downcast visage, — 
Direly had he been disgrac'd. 

"Never stirr'd he from his chamber; 
With no friends would he converse, 
Lest the breath of his dishonor 

Sliould pollute them with its curse." 

Ancient Spanish Ballads (Lockhart's tr.). 

At last, however, Diego confessed his shame to his son Rodrigo, 
v?ho impetuously vowed to avenge him. Armed with his father's 
cross-hilted sword, and encouraged by his solemn ^^^ Gomez 
blessing, Rodrigo marched into the hall of Don Go- slain by 
mez, and challenged him to fight. In spite of his 
youth, Rodrigo conducted himself so bravely in this his first en- 
counter that he slew his opponent, and by shedding his blood 
washed out the stain upon his father's honor, according to the 
chivalric creed of the time. Then, to convince Diego that he 
had been duly avenged, the young hero cut off the head of Don 
Gomez, and triumphantly laid it before him. 

" ' Ne'er again thy foe can harm thee; 
All his pride is now laid low ; 
Vain his hand is now to smite thee. 
And this tongue is silent now.' " 

Ancient Spanish Ballads (Lockhart's tr.). 

Happy once more, old Diego again left home, and went to 
King Ferdinand's court, where he bade Rodrigo do homage to 
the king. The proud youth obeyed this command Defeat of the 
with indifferent grace, and his bearing was so de- *'°°"- 
fiant that the frightened monarch banished him from his presence. 
Rodrigo therefore departed with three hundred kindred spirits. 
He soon encountered the Moors, who were invading Castile, de- 


feated them in battle, took five of their kings prisoners, and re- 
leased them only after they had promised to pay tribute and to 
refrain from further warfare. They were so grateful for their lib- 
erty that they pledged themselves to do his will, and departed, 
calling him " Cid," the name by which he was thenceforth known. 
As Rodrigo had delivered the land from a great danger, King 
Ferdinand now restored him to favor and gave him an honorable 
place among his courtiers, who, however, were all somewhat in- 
clined to be jealous of the fame the young man had won. Shortly 
after his triumphant return, Dona Ximena, daughter of Don 
Gomez, also appeared in Burgos, and, falling at the king's feet, 
demanded justice. Then, seeing the Cid among the courtiers, she 
vehemently denounced him for having slain her father, and bade 
him take her life also, as she had no wish to survive a parent whom 
she adored. 

" ' Thou hast slain the best and bravest 
That e'er set a lance in rest; 
Of our holy faith the bulwark, — 
Terror of each Paynim breast. 

" ' Traitorous murderer, slay me also ! 
Though a woman, slaughter me ! 
Spare not — I'm Ximena Gomez, 
Thine eternal enemy ! 

" ' Here's my throat — smite, I beseech thee '. 
Smite, and fatal be thy blow ! 
Death is all I ask, thou caitiff, — 
Grant this boon unto thy foe. ' " ' 

Ancient Spanish Ballads (Lockhart's tr.). 

As this denunciation and appeal remained without effect (for 
the king had been too well served by the Cid to listen to any ac- 
cusation against him), the distressed damsel departed, only to re- 
turn to court three times upon the same fruitless errand. During 
this time the valor and services of the Cid had been so frequently 
discussed in her presence that on her fifth visit to Ferdinand she 

THE CID. 285 

consented to forego all further thoughts of vengeance, if the king 
would but order the young hero to marry her instead. 

" ' I am daughter of Don Gomez, 
Count of Gormaz was he hight, 
Him Rodrigo by his valor 
Did o'erthrow in mortal fight. 

" ' King, I come to crave a favor — 
This the boon for which I pray, 
That thou give me this Rodrigo 
For my wedded lord this day.' " 

Ancient Spanish Ballads (Lockhart's tr.). 

The king, who had suspected for some time past that thc/Cid 
had fallen in love with his fair foe, immediately sent for him. 
Rodrigo entered the city with his suite of three hun- Marriage of the 
dred men, proposed marriage to Ximena, and was '''^■ 

accepted on the spot. His men then proceeded to array him richly 
for his wedding, and bound on him his famous sword Tizona, which 
he had won from the Moors. The marriage was celebrated with 
much pomp and rejoicing, the king giving Rodrigo the cities of 
Valduerna, Soldana, Belforado, and San Pedro de Cardeiia as a 
marriage portion. When the marriage ceremony was finished, 
Rodrigo, wishing to show his wife all honor, declared that he would 
not rest until he had won five battles, and would only then really 
consider himself entitled to claim her love. 

'"A man I slew — a man I give thee — 
Here I stand thy will to bide ! 
Thou, in place of a dead father, 
Hast a husband at thy side.' " 

ATicient Spanish Ballads (Lockhart's tr.). 

Before beginning this war, however, the Cid remembered a vow 
he had made ; and, accompanied by twenty brave young hidal- 
gos, he set out for a pious pilgrimage to Santiago ^^^ ^.^,^ ^.^^^ 
de Compostela, the shrine of the patron saint of 
Spain. On his way thither he frequently distributed alms, paused 
to recite a prayer at every church and wayside shrine, and, meet- 


ing a leper, ate, drank, and even slept with him in a village inn. 
When Rodrigo awoke in the middle of the night, he found his 
bedfellow gone, but was favored by a vision of St. Lazarus, who 
praised his charity, and promised him great temporal prosperity 
and eternal life. 

" ' Life shall bring thee no dishonor — 
Thou shalt ever conqueror be ; 
Death shall find thee still victorious, 
For God's blessing rests on thee.' " 

Ancient Spanish Ballads (Lockhart's tr.). 

When his pilgrimage was ended, Rodrigo further showed his 
piety by setting aside a large sum of money for the estabhshment 
of a leper house, which, in honor of the saint who visited him, was 
called " St. Lazarus." He then hastened off to Calahorra, a fron- 
tier town of Castile and Aragon, which was a bone of contention 
between two monarchs. 

Just before the Cid's arrival, Don Ramiro of Aragon had ar- 
ranged with Ferdinand of Castile that their quarrel should be de- 
cided by a duel between two knights. Don Ramiro therefore 
selected as his champion Martin Gonzalez, while Ferdinand in- 
trusted his cause to the Cid. The duel took place ; and when the 
two champions found themselves face to face, Martin Gonzalez 
began to taunt Rodrigo, telling him that he would never again 
be able to mount his favorite steed Babie9a, or see his wife, as he 
was doomed to die. 

" ' Sore, Rodrigo, must thou tremble 
Now to meet me in the fight, 
Since thy head will soon be sever'd 
For a trophy of my might. 

" ' Never more to thine own castle 
Wilt thou turn Babiega's rein ; 
Never will thy lov'd Ximena 
See thee at her side again.' " 

Ancient Spanish Ballads (Lockhart's tr.). 

THE CID. 287 

This boasting did not in the least dismay the Cid, who fought 
so bravely that he defeated Martin Gonzalez, and won such plau- 
dits that the jealousy of the Castilian knights was further excited. 
In their envy they even plotted with the Moors to slay Rodrigo 
by treachery. This plan did not succeed, however, because the 
Moorish kings whom he had captured and released gave him a 
timely warning of the threatening danger. 

The king, angry at this treachery, banished the jealous court- 
iers, and, aided by Rodrigo, defeated the hostile Moors in Estre- 
madura. There the Christian army besieged Coimbra in vain for 
seven whole months, and were about to give up in despair of se- 
curing the city, when St. James appeared to a pilgrim, promising 
his help on the morrow. 

When the battle began, the Christian knights were fired by the 
example of a radiant warrior, mounted on a snow-white steed, 
who led them into the thickest of the fray and Battle cry of 
helped them win a signal victory. This knight, ^'^^ Spaniards, 
whom no one recognized as one of their own warriors, was imme- 
diately hailed as St. James, and it was his name which the Span- 
iards then and there adopted as their favorite battle cry. 

The city of Coimbra having been taken, Don Rodrigo was duly 
knighted by the king ; while the queen and princesses vied with 
one another in helping him don the different pieces of his armor, 
for they too were anxious to show how highly they valued his 

After a few more victories over his country's enemies, the tri- 
umphant Cid returned to Zamora, where Ximena, his wife, was 
waiting for him, and where the five Moorish kings sent not only 
the promised tribute, but rich gifts to their generous conqueror. 
Although the Cid rejoiced in these tokens, he gave all the tribute 
and the main part of the spoil to Ferdinand, his liege lord, for he 
considered the glory of success a sufficient reward for himself. 

While the Cid was thus resting upon his laurels, a great coun- 
cil had been held at Florence, where the Emperor (Henry III.) of 
Germany complained to the Pope that King Ferdinand had not 


done him homage for his crown, and that he refused to acknowl- 
edge his superiority. The Pope immediately sent a message to 
King Ferdinand asking for homage and tribute, and threatening 
a crusade in case of disobedience. This unwelcome message 
greatly displeased the Spanish ruler, and roused the indignation of 
the Cid, who declared that his king was the vassal of no monarch, 
and offered to fight anyone who dared maintain a contrary opinion. 

" ' Never yet have we done homage — 
Shall we to a stranger bow ? 
Great the honor God hath given us — 
Shall we lose that honor now ? 

" ' Send then to the Holy Father, 
Proudly thus to him reply — 
Thou, the king, and I, Rodrigo, 
Him and all his power defy.'" 

Ancient Spanish Ballads (Lockhart's tr.). 

This challenge was sent to the Pope, who, not averse to having 
the question setded by the judgment of God, bade the emperor 
send a champion to meet Rodrigo. This imperial champion was 
of course defeated, and all King Ferdinand's enemies were so 
grievously routed by the ever-victorious Cid that no further de- 
mands of homage or tribute were ever made. 

Old age had now come on, and King Ferdinand, after receiv- 
ing divine warning of his speedy demise, died. He left Castile 
to his eldest son, Don Sancho, Leon to Don Alfonso, Galicia to 
Don Garcia, and gave his daughters, Dona Urraca and Dona El- 
vira, the wealthy cities of Zamora and Toro. Of course this dis- 
posal of property did not prove satisfactory to all his heirs, and 
Don Sancho was especially displeased, because he coveted the 
whole realm. He, however, had the Cid to serve him, and selected 
this doughty champion to accompany him on a visit to Rome, 
knowing that he would brook no insult to his lord. These previ- 
sions were fully justified, for the Cid, on noticing that a less ex- 
alted seat had been prepared for Don Sancho than for the King 

THE CTD. 289 

of France, became so violent that the Pope excommunicated him. 
But when the seats had been made of even height, the Cid, who 
was a good Cathohc, humbled himself before the Pope, and the 
latter, knowing the hero's value as a bulwark against the heathen 
Moors, immediately granted him full absolution. 

" ' I absolve thee, Don Ruy Diaz, 
I absolve thee cheerfully. 
If, while at my court, thou showest 
Due respect and courtesy.' " 

Ancient Spanish Ballads (Lockhart's tr.). 

On his return to Castile, Don Sancho found himself threatened 
by his namesake^ the King of Navarre, and by Don Ramiro of 
Aragon. They both invaded Castile, but were igno- The cid 
minously repulsed by the Cid. As some of the Campeador. 
Moors had helped the invaders, the Cid next proceeded to punish 
them, and gave up the siege of Saragossa only when the inhabit- 
ants made terms with him. This campaign won for the Cid the 
title of " Campeador " (Champion), which he well deserved, as he 
was always ready to do battle for his king. 

WhUe Don Sancho and his invaluable ally were thus engaged, 
Don Garcia, King of Galicia, who was also anxious to increase 
his kingdom, deprived his sister Dona Urraca of her city of Za- 
mora. In her distress the infanta came to Don Sancho and made 
her lament, thereby affording him the long-sought pretext to wage 
war against his brother, and rob him of his kingdom. 

This war, in which the Cid reluctantly joined, threatened at one 
time to have serious consequences for Sancho. He even once 
found himself a prisoner of Garcia's army, shortly after Garcia 
had been captured by his. The Cid, occupied in another part of 
the field, no sooner heard of this occurrence than he hastened to 
the Galician nobles to offer an exchange of prisoners ; but, as they 
rejected his offer with contempt, he soon left them in anger. 

" ' Hie thee hence, Rodrigo Diaz, 
An thou love thy liberty ; 



Lest, with this thy king, we take thee 
Into dire captivity.'" 

Ancient Spanish BaUads (Lockhart's tr.). 

The wrath which the Cid Campeador experienced at this dis- 
courteous treatment so increased his usual strength that he soon 
put the enemy to flight, recovered possession of his king, and not 
only made Don Garcia a prisoner, but also secured Don Alfonso, 
who had joined in the revolt. Don Garcia was sent in chains to 
the castle of Luna, where he eventually died, entreating that he 
might be buried, with his fetters, in the city of Leon. 

As for Don Alfonso, Doiia Urraca pleaded his cause so suc- 
cessfully that he was allowed to retire into a monastery, whence 

Alfonso at ^e soon effected his escape and joined the Moors 
Toledo. at Toledo. There he became the companion and 
ally of Alimaymon, learned all his secrets, and once, during a pre- 
tended nap, overheard the Moor state that even Toledo could be 
taken by the Christians, provided they had the patience to begin 
a seven-years' siege, and to destroy all the har\'ests so as to re- 
duce the people to starvation. The information thus accident- 
ally obtained proved invaluable to Alfonso, as will be seen, and 
enabled him subsequently to drive the Moors out of the city of 

In the mean while Sancho, not satisfied with his triple king- 
dom, robbed Dona Elvira of Toro, and began to besiege Dona 
Urraca in Zamora, which he hoped to take also in spite of its 
almost impregnable position. 

" ' See ! where on yon cliff Zamora 
Lifteth up her haughty brow ; 
Walls of strength on high begird her, 
Duero swift and deep below.' " 

Ancient Spanish Ballads (Lockhart's tr.). 

The king, utterly regardless of the Cid's openly expressed opin- 
ion that it was unworthy of a knight to attempt to deprive a woman 
of her inheritance, now bade him carry a message to Doiia Ur- 

THE CID. 291 

raca, summoning her to surrender at once. The hero went reluc- 
tantly, but only to be bitterly reproached by Urraca. She dis- 
missed him after consulting her assembled people, who vowed to 
die ere they would surrender. 

" Then did swear all her brave vassals 
In Zamora's walls to die, 
Ere unto the king they'd yield it, 
And disgrace their chivalry." 

Ancient Spanish Ballads (Lockhart's tr.). 

This message so enraged Don Sancho that he banished the Cid. 
The latter departed for Toledo, whence he was soon recalled, how- 
ever, for his monarch could do nothing without him. giege of 
Thus restored to favor, the Cid began the siege of zamora. 
Zamora, which lasted so long that the inhabitants began to suffer 
all the pangs of famine. 

At last a Zamoran by the name of Vellido (Bellido) Dolfos 
came out of the town in secret, and, under pretense of betraying 
the city into Don Sancho's hands, obtained a private interview 
with him. Dolfos availed himself of this opportunity to murder 
the king, and rushed back to the city before the crime was dis- 
covered. He entered the gates just in time to escape from the 
Cid, who had mounted hastily, without spurs, and thus could not 
urge Babie9a on to his utmost speed and overtake the murderer. 

" ' Cursed be the wretch ! and cursed 
He who mounteth without spur ! 
Had I arm'd my heels with rowels, 
I had slain the treacherous cur.' " 

Ancient Spanish Ballads (Lockhart's tr.). 

The grief in the camp at the violent death of the king was very 
great. Don Diego Ordoiiez immediately sent a challenge to Don 
Arias Gonzalo, who, while accepting the combat for his son, swore 
that none of the Zamorans knew of the dastardly deed, which 
Dolfos alone had planned. 


" ' Fire consume us, Count Gonzalo, 
If in this we guilty be ! 
None of us within Zamora 
Of this deed had privity. 

" ' Dolfos onlyHs the traitor; 

None but he the king did slay. 
Thou canst safely go to battle, 
God will be thy shield and stay.' " 

Ancient Spanish BaUads (Lockhart's tr.). 

This oath was confirmed by the outcome of the duel, and none 
of the besiegers ever again ventured to doubt the honor of the 

As Don Sancho had left no children to inherit his kingdom, it 

came by right of inheritance to Don Alfonso, who was still at 

Toledo, a nominal guest, but in reality a prisoner. 

Alfonso king. ' o > J r 

Dona Urraca, who was deeply attached to her 
brother, now managed to convey to him secret information of 
Don Sancho's death, and Don Alfonso cleverly effected his es- 
cape, turning his pursuers off his track by reversing his horse's 
shoes. When he arrived at Zamora, all were ready to do him 
homage except the Cid, who proudly held aloof until Don Alfonso 
had publicly sworn that he had not bribed Dolfos to commit the 
dastardly crime which had called him to the throne. 

" ' Wherefore, if thou be but guiltless. 
Straight I pray of thee to swear, — 
Thou and twelve of these thy liegemen. 
Who with thee in exile were, — 
That in thy late brother's death 
Thou hadst neither part nor share 
That none of ye to his murder 
Privy or consenting were.' " 

Ancient Spanish Ballads (Lockhart's tr.). 

The king, angry at being thus called upon to answer for his 
conduct to a mere subject, viewed the Cid with great dislike, and 
only awaited a suitable occasion to take his revenge. During a 

THE CID. 293 

war with the Moors he made use of a trifling pretext to banish him, 
allowing him only nine days to prepare for departure. The Cid 
accepted this cruel decree with dignity, hoping that the time would 
never come when the king would regret his absence, and his coun- 
try need his right arm. 

'"I obey, O King Alfonso, 

Guilty though in naught I be. 
For it doth behoove a vassal 

To obey his lord's decree ; 
Prompter far am I to serve thee 

Than thou art to guerdon me. 

" ' I do pray our Holy Lady 
Her protection to afford, 
That thou never mayst in battle 

Need the Cid's right arm and sword.' " 

Ancient Spanish Ballads (Lockhart's tr.). 

Amid the weeping people of Burgos, who dared not offer him 
help and shelter lest they should incur the king's wrath, lose all 
their property, and even forfeit their eyesight, the Cid slowly 
rode away, and camped without the city to make his final arrange- 
ments. Here a devoted follower supplied him with the necessary 
food, remarking that he cared " not a fig " for Alfonso's prohibi- 
tions, which is probably the first written record of the use of this 
now popular expression. 

To obtain the necessary money the Cid pledged two locked 
coffers full of sand to the Jews. They, thinking that the boxes 
contained vast treasures, or relying upon the Cid's The cid in 
promise to release them for a stipulated sum, ad- *^''^- 

vanced him six hundred marks of gold. The Cid then took leave 
of his beloved wife Ximena, and of his two infant daughters, whom 
he intrusted to the care of a worthy ecclesiastic, and, followed by 
three hundred men, he rode slowly away from his native land, 
vowing that he would yet return, covered with glory, and bring- 
ing great spoil. 


" ' Comrades, should it please high Heaven 

That we see Castile once more, — 
Though we now go forth as outcasts. 

Sad, dishonor'd, homeless, poor, — 
We'll return with glory laden 

And the spoiUngs of the Moor.' " 

A7icieni Spanish Ballads (Lockhart's tr ). 

Such success attended the little band of exiles that within the 
next three weeks they won two strongholds from the Moors, and 
much spoil, among which was the sword Colada, which was sec- 
ond only to Tizona. From the spoil the Cid selected a truly regal 
present, which he sent to Alfonso, who in return granted a general 
pardon to the Cid's followers, and published an edict allowing all 
who wished to fight against the Moors to join him. A few more 
victories and another present so entirely dispelled Alfonso's dis- 
pleasure that he restored the Cid to favor, and, moreover, prom- 
ised that thereafter thirty days should be allowed to every exile 
to prepare for his departure. 

When Alimaymon, King of Toledo, died, leaving Toledo in the 
hands of his grandson Yahia, who was generally disliked, Alfonso 
thought the time propitious for carrying out his long-cherished 
scheme of taking the city. Thanks to the valor of the Cid and 
the destruction of all the crops, the siege of the city progressed 
favorably, and it finally fell into the hands of the Christian king. 

A second misunderstanding, occasioned principally by the jeal- 
ous courtiers, caused Alfonso to insult the Cid, who in anger left 
the army and made a sudden raid in Castile. During his absence, 
the Moors resumed courage, and became masters of Valencia. 
Hearing of this disaster, the Cid promptly returned, recaptured the 
city, and, establishing his headquarters there, asked Alfonso to 
send him his wife and daughters. At the same time he sent more 
than the promised sum of money to the Jews to redeem the chests 
which, as they now first learned, were filled with nothing but sand. 

" ' Say, albeit within the cofifers 
Naught but sand they can espy. 

THE CID. 295 

That the pure gold of my truth 
Deep beneath that sand doth lie.' " 

Ancient Spanish Ballads (Lockhart's tr.). 

As the Cid was now master of Valencia and of untold wealth, 
his daughters were soon sought in marriage by many suitors. 
Among them were the Counts of Carrion, whose xhe Counts of 
proposals were warmly encouraged by Alfonso. carrion. 
To please his royal master, the Cid consented to an alliance with 
them, and the marriage of both his daughters was celebrated with 
much pomp. In the " Chronicle of the Cid," compiled from all 
the ancient ballads, these festivities are recorded thus : " Who can 
tell the great, nobleness which the Cid displayed at that wedding ! 
the feasts and the bullfights, and the throwing at the target, and the 
throwing canes, and how many joculars were there, and all the 
sports which are proper at such weddings ! " 

Pleased with their sumptuous entertainment, the Infantes of 
Carrion lingered at Valencia two years, during which time the Cid 
had ample opportunity to convince himself that they were not the 
brave and upright husbands he would fain have secured for his 
daughters. In fact, all soon became aware of the young men's 
cowardice, for when a lion broke loose from the Cid's private 
menagerie and entered the hall where he was sleeping, while his 
guests were playing chess, the princes fled, one falling into an 
empty vat in his haste, and the other taking refuge behind the 
Cid's couch. Awakened by the noise, the Cid seized his sword, 
twisted his cloak around his arm, and, grasping the lion by its 
mane, thrust it back into its cage, and calmly returned to his place. 

" Till the good Cid awoke ; he rose without alarm ; 
He went to meet the Hon, with his mantle on his arm. 
The lion was abash'd the noble Cid to meet. 
He bow'd his mane to earth, his muzzle at his feet. 
The Cid by the neck and mane drew him to his den. 
He thrust him in at the hatch, and came to the hall again ; 
He found his knights, his vassals, and all his valiant men. 
He ask'd for his sons-in-law, they were neither of them there." 

Chronicles of the Ck/ (Southey's tr.). 


This cowardly conduct of the Infantes of Carrion could not fail 
to call forth some gibes from the Cid's followers. The young 
men, however, concealed their anger, biding their time to take 
their revenge. During the siege of Valencia, which took place 
shortly after this adventure, the Infantes did not manage to show 
much courage either; and it was only through the kindness of 
Felez Munoz, a nephew of the Cid, that one of them could ex- 
hibit a war horse which he falsely claimed to have taken from the 

Thanks to the valor of the Cid, the Moors were driven away 
from Valencia with great loss, and peace was restored. The In- 
fantes of Carrion then asked permission to return hopie with their 
brides, and the spoil and presents the Cid had given them, among 
which were the swords Colada and Tizona. The Cid escorted 
them part way on their jomney, bade farewell to his daughters with 
much sorrow, and returned alone to Valencia, which appeared 
deserted without the presence of the children he loved. 

" The Cid he parted from his daughters, 
Naught could he his grief disguise ; 
As he clasped them to his bosom, 
Tears did stream from out his eyes." 

Ancient Spanish Ballads (Lockhart's tr.). 

After journeying on for some time with their brides and Felez 

Muiioz, who was acting as escort, the Infantes of Carrion camped 

Cruelty of '^^^'" ^^ Douro. Early the next day they sent all 

Infantes of their suite ahead, and, being left alone with their 

Carrion. . . , , , , . , , , , 

Wives, Stripped them of their garments, lashed them 
with thorns, kicked them with their spurs, and finally left them for 
dead on the blood-stained ground, and rode on to join their escort. 
Suspecting foul play, and fearing the worst, Felez Muiioz 
cleverly managed to separate himself from the party, and, rid- 
ing swiftly back to the banks of the Douro, found his unhappy 
cousins in a sorry plight. He tenderly cared for their wounds, 
placed them upon his horse, and took them to the house of a poor 

THE CID. 297 

man, whose wife and daughters undertook to nurse them, while 
Felez Munoz hastened back to Valencia to tell the Cid what had 
occurred. The Cid Campeador then swore that he would be 
avenged; and as Alfonso was responsible for the marriage, he 
applied to him for redress. 

'" Lo ! my daughters have been outrag'd ! 
For thine own, thy kingdom's sake. 
Look, Alfonso, to mine honor ! 
Vengeance thou or I must take. ' " 

Ancient Spanish Ballads (Lockhart's tr.). 

The king, who had by this time learned to value the Cid's serv- 
ices, was very angry when he heard how the Infantes of Car- 
rion had insulted their wives, and immediately summoned them 
to appear before the Cortes, the Spanish assembly, at Toledo, and 
justify themselves, if it were possible. The Cid was also sum- 
moned to the same assembly, where he began by claiming the 
two precious blades Tizona and Colada, and the large dowry he 
had given with his daughters. Then he challenged the young 
cowards to fight. When questioned, they tried to excuse them- 
selves by declaring that the Cid's daughters, being of inferior birth, 
were not fit to mate with them. 

The falseness of this excuse was shown, however, by an em- 
bassy from Navarre, asking the hands of the Cid's daughters for 
the Infantes of that kingdom, who were far superior Embassy from 
in rank to the Infantes of Carrion. The Cid con- Navarre, 
sented to this new alliance, and after a combat had been ap- 
pointed between three champions of his selection and the Infantes 
of Carrion and their uncle, he prepared to return home. 

As proof of his loyalty, however, he offered to give to Alfonso 
his favorite steed Babie9a, an offer which the king wisely refused, 
telling him that the best of warriors alone deserved that peerless 
war horse. 

" ' 'Tis the noble Babieca that is fam'd for speed and force, 
Among the Christians nor the Moors there is not such another one, 


My Sovereign, Lord, and Sire, he is fit for you alone ; 

Give orders to your people, and take him for your own.' 

The King replied, ' It cannot be ; Cid, you shall keep your horse ; 

He must not leave his master, nor change him for a worse ; 

Our kingdom has been honor'd by you and by your steed — 

The man that would take him from you, evil may he speed. 

A courser such as he is fit for such a knight, 

To beat down Moors in battle, and follow them in flight.' " 

Chronicles of the Cid (Southey's tr.). 

Shortly after, in the presence of the king, the Cid, and the 
assembled Cortes, the appointed battle took place. The Infantes 
of Carrion and their uncle were defeated and banished, and the 
Cid returned in triumph to Valencia. Here his daughters' second 
marriage took place, and here he received an embassy bringing 
him rich gifts from the Sultan of Persia, who had heard of his 

Five years later the Moors returned, under the leadership of 
Bucar, King of Morocco, to besiege Valencia. The Cid was 
about to prepare to do battle against this overwhelming force 
when he was favored by a vision of St. Peter. The saint pre- 
dicted his death within thirty days, but assured him that, even 
though he were dead, he would still triumph over the enemy 
whom he had fought against for so many years. 

" ' Dear art thou to God, Rodrigo, 
And this grace he granteth thee : 

When thy soul hath fled, thy body 
Still shall cause the Moors to flee ; 

And, by aid of Santiago, 
Gain a glorious victory.'" 

Ancient Spanish Ballads (Lockhart's tr.). 

The pious and simple-hearted warrior immediately began to 
prepare for the other world. He appointed a successor, gave in- 
structions that none should bewail his death lest the news should 
encourage the Moors, and directed that his embalmed body 
should be set upon Babiega, and that, with Tizona in his hand, 

THE CID'S LAST VICTORY. — Rochegrosse. 

THE CID. 299 

he should be led against die enemy on a certain day, when he 
promised a signal victory. 

" ' Saddle next my Babieca, 

Arm him well as for the fight ; 
On his back then tie my body, 
In my well-known armor dight. 

" ' In my right hand place Tizona ; 
Lead me forth unto the war ; 
Bear my standard fast behind me, 
As it was my wont of yore.' " 

Atunent Spanish Ballads (Lockhart's tr.). 

When these instructions had all been given, the hero died at 
the appointed time, and his successor and the brave Ximena strove 
to carry out his every wish. A sortie was planned, ^he Cid's last 
and the Cid, fastened upon his war horse, rode in battle, 
the van. Such was the terror which his mere presence inspired 
that the Moors fled before him. Most of them were slain, and 
Bucar beat a hasty retreat, thinking that seventy thousand Chris- 
tians were about to fall upon him, led by the patron saint of Spain. 

"Seventy thousand Christian warriors, 
All in snowy garments dight, 
Led by one of giant stature, 
Mounted on a charger white ; 

" On his breast a cross of crimson. 
In his hand a sword of fire. 
With it hew'd he down the Paynims, 
As they fled, with slaughter dire." 

Ancient Spanish Ballads (Lockhart's tr.). 

The Christians, having routed the enemy, yet knowing, as the 
Cid had told them, that they would never be able to hold Valencia 
when he was gone, now marched on into Castile, the dead hero 
still riding Babie9a in their midst. Then Ximena sent word to 
her daughters of their father's demise, and they came to meet 


him, but could scarcely believe that he was dead when they saw 
him so unchanged. 

By Alfonso's order the Cid's body was placed in the Church of 
San Pedro de Cardeiia, where for ten years it remained seated in 
a chair of state, and in plain view of all. Such was the respect 
which the dead hero inspired that none dared lay a finger upon 
him, except a sacrilegious Jew, who, remembering the Cid's proud 
boast that no man had ever dared lay a hand upon his beard, 
once attempted to do so. Before he could touch it, however, the 
hero's lifeless hand clasped the sword hilt and drew Tizona a few 
inches out of its scabbard. 

"Ere the beard his fingers touched, 
Lo ! the silent man of death 
Grasp'd the hilt, and drew Tizona 
Full a span from out the sheath ! " 

Ancient Spanish Ballads {Lockhart's tr.). 

Of course, in the face of such a miracle, the Jew desisted, and 
the Cid Campeador was reverently laid in the grave only when 
his body began to show signs of decay. His steed Babie9a con- 
tinued to be held in great honor, but no one was ever again allowed 
to bestride him. 

As for the Moors, they rallied around Valencia. After hover- 
ing near for several days, wondering at the strange silence, they 
Evacuation of entered the open gates of the city, which they had 

Valencia. jjQt (jared to cross for fear of an ambuscade, and 
penetrated into the court of the palace. Here they found a 
notice, left by the order of the Cid, announcing his death and 
the complete evacuation of the city by the Christian army. The 
Cid's sword Tizona became an heirloom in the family of the 
Marquis of Falies, and is said to bear the following inscriptions, 
one on either side of the blade : " I am Tizona, made in era 1 040," 
and " Hail Maria, full of grace." 



In the preceding chapters we have given an outhne of the 
principal epics which formed the staple of romance literature in 
the middle ages. As has been seen, this style of cycles of 
composition was used to extol the merits and de- romance, 
scribe the great deeds of certain famous heroes, and by being 
gradually extended it was made to include the prowess of the 
friends and contemporaries of these more or less fabulous per- 
sonages. All these writings, clustering thus about some great 
character, eventually formed the so-called " cycles of romance." 

There were current in those days not only classical romances, 
but stories of love, adventure, and chivalry, all bearing a marked 
resemblance to one another, and prevailing in all the European 
states during the four centuries when knighthood flourished every- 
where. Some of these tales, such as those of the Holy Grail, 
were intended, besides, to glorify the most celebrated orders of 
knighthood,— the Templars and Knights of St. John. 

Other styles of imaginative writing were known at the same 
time also, yet the main feature of the literature of the age is first 
the metrical, and later the prose, romance, the direct outcome of 
the great national epics. 

We have outlined very briefly, as a work of this character re- 
quires, the principal features of the Arthurian, Carolingian, and 
Teutonic cycles. We have also touched somewhat upon the 
Anglo-Danish and Scandinavian contributions to our literature. 



Of the extensive Spanish cycle we have given only a short 
sketch of the romance, or rather the chronicle, of the Cid, leav- 
ing out entirely the vast and deservedly popular cycles of Amadis 
of Gaul and of the Palmerins. This omission has been intentional, 
however, because these romances have left but few traces in our 
literature. As they are seldom even alluded to, they are not of 
so great importance to the English student of letters as the Franco- 
German, Celto-Briton, and Scandinavian tales. 

The stories of Amadis of Gaul and of the Palmerins are, more- 
over, very evident imitations of the principal romances of chiv- 
alry which we have already considered. They are formed of 
an intricate series of adventures and enchantments, are, if any- 
thing, more extravagant than the other mediseval romances, and 
are further distinguished by a tinge of Oriental mysticism and 
imagery, the result of the Crusades. 

The Italian cycle, which we have not treated separately be- 
cause it relates principally to Charlemagne and Roland, is par- 
ticularly noted for its fehcity of expression and richness of de- 
scription. Like the Spanish writers, the Italians love to revel 
in magic, as is best seen in the greatest gems of that age, the 
poems of " Orlando Innamorato " and " Orlando Furioso," by 
Boiardo and Ariosto. 

Mediaeval literature includes also a very large and so-called 
" unaffiliated cycle " of romances. This is composed of many 
stories, the precursors of the novel and " short story " of the pres- 
ent age. We are indebted to this cycle for several well-known 
works of fiction, such as the tale of patient Griseldis, the gentle 
and meek-spirited heroine who has become the personification of 
long-suffering and charity. After the mediaeval writers had made 
much use of this tale, it was taken up in turn by Boccaccio and 
Chaucer, who have made it immortal. 

The Norman tale of King Robert of Sicily, so beautifully ren- 
dered in verse by Longfellow in his " Tales of a Wayside Inn," 
also belongs to this cycle, and some authorities claim that it in- 
cludes the famous animal epic " Reynard the Fox,'' of which 


we have given an outline. The story of Reynard the Fox is one 
of the most important mediaeval contributions to the literature of 
the world, and is the source from which many subsequent writers 
have drawn the themes for their fables. 

A very large class of romances, common to all European nations 
during the middle ages, has also been purposely omitted from the 
foregoing pages. This is the so-called " classical 
cycle," or the romances based on the Greek and ^®®"=* '^^'^ '• 
Latin epics, which were very popular during the age of chivalry. 
They occupy so prominent a place in mediasval Hterature, how- 
ever, that we must bespeak a few moments' attention to their 

In these classical romances the heroes of antiquity have lost 
many of their native characteristics, and are generally represented 
as knight-errants, and made to talk and act as such knights would. 
Christianity and mythology are jumbled up together in a most 
peculiar way, and history, chronology, and geography are set at 
defiance and treated with the same scorn of probabilities. 

The classical romances forming this great general cycle are 
subdivided into several classes or cycles. The interest of the 
first is mainly centered upon the heroes of Homer and Hesiod. 
The best-known and most popular of these mediaeval, works was 
the " Roman de Troie," relating the siege and downfall of Troy. 

Based upon post-classical Greek and Latin writings rather than 
upon the great Homeric epic itself, the story, which had already 
undergone many changes to suit the ever-varying public taste, 
was further transformed by the Anglo-Norman trouvfere, Benoit 
de Sainte-More, about 1184. He composed a poem of thirty 
thousand lines, in which he related not only the siege and down- 
fall of Troy, but also the Argonautic expedition, the wanderings 
of Ulysses, the story of ^neas, and many other mythological 

This poet, following the custom of the age, naively reproduced 
the manners, customs, and, in general, the behefs of the twelfth 
century. There is plenty of local color in his work, only the 


color belongs to his own locality, and not to that of the heroes 
whose adventures he purports to relate. In his work the old 
classical heroes are transformed into typical mediaeval knights, 
and heroines such as Helen and Medea, for instance, are por- 
trayed as damsels in distress. 

This prevalent custom of viewing the ancients solely from the 
mediaeval point of view gave rise not only to grotesque pen 
pictures, but also to a number of paintings, such as Gozzoli's 
kidnaping of Helen. In this composition, Paris, in trunk hose, 
is carrying off the fair Helen pickaback, notwithstanding the evi- 
dent clamor raised by the assembled court ladieis, who are attired 
in very fuU skirts and mediaeval headdresses. 

On account of these peculiarities, and because the customs, 
dress, festivities, weapons, manners, landscapes, etc., of the middle 
ages are so minutely described, these romances have, with much 
justice, been considered as really original works. 

The " Roman de Troie " was quite as popular in mediaeval 
Europe as the " Iliad " had been in Hellenic countries during the 
The Roman de P^'loiy days of Greece, and was translated into every 
Troie. dialect. There are still extant many versions of 

the romance in every European tongue, for it penetrated even 
into the frozen regions of Scandinavia and Iceland. It was there- 
fore recited in every castle and town by the wandering minstrels, 
trouv^res, troubadours, minnesingers, and scalds, who thus indi- 
vidually and collectively continued the work begun so many years 
before by the Greek rhapsodists. Thus for more than two thou- 
sand years the story which still delights us has been familiar 
among high and low, and has served to beguile the hours for old 
and young. 

This cycle further includes a revised and. much-transformed 
edition of the adventures of .^neas and of the early history of 
Rome. But although all these tales were first embodied in met- 
rical romances, these soon gave way to prose versions of equally 
interminable length, which each relator varied and embellished 
according to his taste and skill. 


The extreme popularity of Benoit de Sainte-More's work in- 
duced many imitations, and the numerous chansons de gesies, con- 
structed on the same general plan, soon became current every- 
where. Sundry episodes of these tales, having been particularly 
liked, were worked over, added to, and elaborated, until they 
assumed the proportions of romances in themselves. Such was, 
for example, the case with the story of Troilus and Cressida, 
which was treated by countless mediaeval poets, and finally given 
the form in which we know it best, first by Chaucer in his 
" Canterbury Tales,'' and lastly by Shakespeare in his well-known 

Another great romance of the classical cycle is the one known 
as " Alexandre le Grant." First written in verse by Lambert le 
Cort, in a meter which is now exclusively known Alexandre le 
as Alexandrine, because it was first used to set forth Grant, 

the charms and describe the deeds of this hero, it was recast by 
many poets, and finally turned into a prose romance also. 

The first poetical version was probably composed in the elev- 
enth century, and is said to have been twenty-two thousand six 
hundred hues long. Drawn from many sources,— for the Greek 
and Latin writers had been all more or less occupied with de- 
scribing the career of the youthful conqueror and the marvels 
he discovered in the far East,— the mediaeval writers still further 
added to this heterogeneous material. 

The romance of "Alexandre le Grant," therefore, purports to 
relate the life and adventures of the King of Macedon ; but as 
Lambert le Cort and his numerous predecessors and successors 
were rather inchned to draw on imagination, the result is a very 
extravagant tale. 

In the romance, as we know it, Alexander is described as a 
mediaeval rather than an ancient hero. After giving the early 
history of Macedon, the poet tells of the birth of Alexander,— 
which is ascribed to divine intervention,— and dwells eloquently 
upon the hero's youthful prowess. Philip's death and the con- 
sequent reign of Alexander next claim our attention. The coh- 


quest of the world is, in this romance, introduced by the siege and 
submission of Rome, after which the young monarch starts upon 
his expedition into Asia Minor, and the conquest of Persia. The 
war with Porus and the fighting in India are dwelt upon at great 
length, as are the riches and magnificence of the East. Alex- 
ander visits Amazons and cannibals, views all the possible and 
impossible wonders, and in his fabulous history we find the first 
mention, in European literature, of the marvelous " Fountain of 
Youth," the object of Ponce de Leon's search in Florida many 
years later. 

When, in the course of this lengthy romance, Alexander has 
triumphantly reached the ends of the earth, he sighs for new 
worlds to conquer, and even aspires to the dominion of the realm 
of the air. To wish is to obtain. A magic glass cage, rapidly 
borne aloft by eight griffins, conveys the conqueror through the 
aerial kingdom, where all the birds in turn do homage to him, 
and where he is enabled to understand their language, thanks to 
the kind intervention of a magician. 

But Alexander's ambition is still insatiable ; and, earth and air 
having both submitted to his sway, and all the living creatures 
therein having recognized him as master and promised their alle- 
giance, he next proposes to annex the empire of the sea. Magic 
is again employed to gratify this wish, and Alexander sinks to the 
bottom of the sea in a peculiarly fashioned diving bell. Here 
all the finny tribe press around to do him homage ; and after re- 
ceiving their oaths of fealty, and viewing all the marvels of the 
deep, as conceived by the mediaeval writer's fancy, Alexander 
returns to Babylon. 

Earth, air, and sea having all been subdued, the writer, unable 
to follow the course of Alexander's conquests any further, now 
minutely describes a grand coronation scene at Babylon, where, 
with the usual disregard for chronology which characterizes all 
the productions of this age, he makes the hero participate in a 
solemn mass! 

The story ends with a highly sensational description of the 


death of Alexander by poisoning, and an elaborate enumeration 
of the pomps of his obsequies. 

A third order of romances, also belonging to this cycle, includes 
a lengthy poem known as " Rome la Grant." Here Virgil appears 
as a common enchanter. With the exception of a 
few well-known names, all trace of antiquity is lost. 
The heroes are now exposed to hairbreadth escapes ; wonderful 
adventures succeed one another without any pause ; and there is 
a constant series of enchantments, such as the Italian poets loved 
to revel in, as is shown in the works by Boiardo and Ariosto 
already mentioned. 

These tales, and those on the same theme which had preceded 
them, gave rise to a generally accepted theory of European col- 
onization subsequent to the Trojan war ; and every man of note 
and royal family claimed to descend from the line of Priam. 

As the Romans insisted that their city owed its existence to 
the descendants of ^neas, so the P'rench kings Dagobert and 
Charles the Bald claimed to belong to the illustri- 

. , - Story of Brutus. 

ous Trojan race. The same tradition appeared 
in England about the third century, and from Gildas and Nen- 
nius was adopted by Geoffrey of Monmouth. It is from this 
historian that Wace drew the materials for the metrical tale of 
Brutus (Brute), the supposed founder of the British race and king- 
dom. This poem is twenty thousand Hues long, and relates the 
adventures and life of Brutus, the great-grandson of ^neas. 

At the time of Brutus' birth his parents were frightened by an 
oracle predicting that he would be the cause of the death of both 
parents, and only after long wanderings would attain the highest 
pitch of glory. This prophecy was duly fulfilled. Brutus' mother, 
a niece of Lavinia, died at his birth. Fifteen years later, while 
hunting, he accidentally slew his father ; and, expelled from Italy 
on account of this involuntary crime, he began his wanderings. 

In the course of time Brutus went to Greece, where he found 
the descendants of Helenus, one of Priam's sons, languishing in 
captivity. Brutus headed the revolted Trojans, and after helping 


them to defeat Pandrasus, King of Greece, obtained their freedom, 
and invited them to accompany him to some distant land, where 
they could found a new kingdom. 

Led by Brutus, who in the mean while had married the daugh- 
ter of Pandrasus, the Trojans sailed away, and, landing on the 
deserted island of Leogecia, visited the temple of Diana, and 
questioned her statue, which gave the following oracle : 

" ' Brutus ! there lies beyond the Gallic bounds 
An island which the western sea surrounds, 
By giants once possessed ; now few remain 
To bar thy entrance, or obstruct thy reign. 
To reach tiiat happy shore thy sails employ ; 
There fate decrees to raise a second Troy, 
And found an empire in thy royal line. 
Which time shall ne'er destroy, nor bounds confine.'" 

Geoffrey of Monmouth {Giles's tr.). 

Thus directed by miracle, Brutus sailed on, meeting with many 
adventures, and landed twice on the coast of Africa. The Pillars 
of Hercules once passed, the travelers beheld the sirens, and, 
landing once more, were joined by Corineus, who proposed to 
accompany them. 

Brutus then coasted along the shores of the kingdom of Aqui- 
taine and up the Loire, where his men quarreled with the inhab- 
itants. He found himself involved in a fierce conflict, in which, 
owing to his personal valor and to the marvelous strength of Cor- 
ineus, he came off victor in spite of the odds against him. 

In this battle Brutus' nephew, Turonus, fell, and was buried on 
the spot where the city of Tours was subsequently built and named 
after the dead hero. After having subdued his foes, Brutus em- 
barked again and landed on an island called Albion. Here he 
forced the giants to make way for him, and in the encounters 
with them Corineus again covered himself with glory. 

We are told that the first germ of the nursery tale of Jack the 
Giant Killer is found in this poem, for Corineus, having chosen 


Corinea (Cornwall) as his own province, defeated there the giant 
Goemagot, who was twelve cubits high and pulled up an oak as 
if it were but a weed. Corineus, after a famous wrestling bout, 
flung this Goemagot into the sea, at a place long known as Lam 
Goemagot, but now called Plymouth. 

Brutus pursued his way, and finally came to the Thames, on 
whose banks he founded New Troy, a city whose name was 
changed in honor of Lud, one of his descendants. The founding of 
to London. Brutus called the newly won kingdom London. 
Britain, and his eldest sons, Locrine and Camber, gave their 
names to the provinces of Locria and Cambria when they be- 
came joint rulers of their father's kingdom, while Albanact, his 
third son, took possession of the northern part, which he called 
Albania (Scotland). 

Albanact was not allowed to reign in peace, however, but was 
soon called upon to war against Humber, King of the Hiins. 
The latter was defeated, and drowned in the stream which still 
bears- his name. Locrine's daughter, Sabrina, also met with a 
watery death, and gave her name to the Severn. 

The posterity of Brutus now underwent many other vicissitudes. 
There was fighting at home and abroad ; and after attributing the 
founding of all the principal cities to some ruler of 
this line, the historian relates the story of King Leir, 
the founder of Leicester. As this monarch's life has been used 
by Shakespeare for one of his dramas,— the tragedy of " King 
Lear,"— and is familiar to all students of Enghsh literature, there 
is no need to outline Geoffrey of Monmouth's version of the tale. 

The chronicler then resumes the account of Brutus' illustrious 
descendants, enumerating them all, and relating their adventures, 
till we come to the reign of Cassivellaunus and the invasion of 
Britain by the Romans. Shortly after, under the reign of Cym- 
beUnus, he mentions the birth of Christ, and then resumes the 
thread of his fabulous history, and brings it down to the reign of 
Uther Pendragon, where it has been taken up in the Arthurian 


This chronicle, which gave rise to many romances, was still 
considered rehable even in Shakespeare's time, and many poets 
have drawn freely from it. The mediaeval poets long used it as 
a mental quarry, and it has been further utilized by some more 
recent poets, among whom we must count Drayton, who makes 
frequent mention of these ancient names in his poem " Poly- 
olbion," and Spenser, who immortahzes many of the old legends 
in his " Faerie Queene." 

There are, of course, many other mediaeval tales and romances ; 
but our aim has been to enable the reader to gain some general 
idea of the principal examples, leaving him to pursue the study 
in its many branches if he wishes a more complete idea of the 
literature of the past and of the influence it has exerted and still 
exerts upon the writers of our own day. 


Ariosto, 141, 211. 

Arnold, Matthew, 212, 243, 269. 

Beowulf, (translations by Conybeare, 

Keary, Longfellow, Metcalfe,) 9, 

10, II, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 

20, 21. 
Buchanan, 145, 146. 
Bulwer Lytton, 219. 
Burney, Dr. (translation), 141. 
Byron, 150. 
Chanson de Roland (translations by 

Rabillon), 144, 145, 147, 148. 
Conybeare (translations), 9, 10, 13, 

14, IS, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21. 
Cursor Mundi, 4. 
Death Song of Regner Lodbrock 

(translations by Herbert), 272, 276, 

Dippold, G. T., (translations. Great 

Epics of Mediaeval Germany, 

Roberts Bros., Boston,) 23, 24, 25, 

26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 33, 34, 188, 

190, 195, 237, 239. 
Dragon of Wantley, 238. 
Drayton, 208, 210, 217, 218. 
Ellis, 207, 208, 209, 210, 227. 
Ettin Langshanks, The, 115, 116. 
Geoffrey of Monmouth, 308. 
Giles (translation), 308. 
Goethe, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 43, 

44. 45. 47. 48, 49. 50. 52- 
Gottfried von Strassburg, 237, 239, 

Gudrun, (translations by Dippold, 
Great Epics of Medijeval Germany, 
Roberts Bros., Boston,) 23, 24, 25, 
26,,27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 33, 34. 
Hartmann von Aue, 223. 

Head, Sir Edmund, (Ticknor's Span- 
ish Literature, Messrs. Harper 
Bros., New York,) 150. 

Heldenbuch (translations by Weber), 
95, 96, loi, 105, 106, 107, 118, 
119, 121. 

Hemans, Mrs., 278. 

Herbert (translations), 272, 276, 279. 

Hildebrand, Song of, (translation by 
Bayard Taylor, Studies in German 
Literature, G. P. Putnam's Sons, 
New York,) 127. 

Ingemann, 136. 

Jamieson (translations), 115, 116. 

Jones, J. C, 17. 

Keary (translation), 11. 

King Arthur's Death, 230. 

Lady Alda's Dream (translation by 
Head), 149. 

Layamon, 232. 

Legend of King Arthur, 218. 

Lettsom (translations), 54, 55, 56; 57, 
58, 59. 60, 61, 62, 63, 65, 66, 68, 
69. 70. 71. 72, 74. 75. 76. 77. 78, 
79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85. 

Lockhart, (Ancient Spanish Ballads, 
G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York,) 
282, 283, 284, 285, 286, 288, 289, 
290, 291, 292, 293, 294, 29s, 296, 
297, 298, 299, 300. 

Longfellow, (Poets and Poetry of Eu- 
rope, and Poetical Works, Hough- 
ton, Mifflin & Co., Boston,) 12, 13, 
95. 137. 251, 253, 254, 256, 258, 

Lord Lovel, Ballad of, 245. 

McDowall (translation), 200. 

Metcalfe (translations), 16, 21. 




Morris, William, 275. 

Nibelungenlied (translations by Lett- 
som), 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 
61, 62, 63, 65, 66, 68, 69, 70, 71, 

72, 74, 75. 76. 77. 78. 79. 8°. 81, 

82, 83, 84, 85. 
Niendorf, 34. 
Rabillon (translations), 144, 145, 147, 

Raguar Lodbrok Saga, (The Viking 

Age, by Paul du Chaillu, Charles 

Scribner's Sons, New York,) 270. 
Ragnar's Sons' Saga, (The Viking 

Age, by Paul du Chaillu, Charles 

Scribner's Sons, New York,) 277. 
Robert of Gloucester, 209. 
Rogers (translations), 36, 37, 38, 39, 

40, 41. 43, 44, 45, 47. 48, 49, 5°, 

Roland and Ferragus, 141, 142, 143. 
Rose (translation), 211. 
Scott, Sir Walter, 235. 
Sir Lancelot du Lake, 220. 
Sir Otuel, 148. 
Sotheby (translations), 164, 165, 166, 

167, 168, 170, 171, 172, 173, 174, 

175, 176, 177, 178, 179. 
Southey, 132, 133, 295, 298. 
Spalding (translations), 250, 251, 252, 

253, 254, 255, 256, 2S7, 258, 259, 

260, 26 1 , 262, 263, 264, 266, 267, 268. 
Spenser, 211. 
Swinburne, 206, 240, 241. 
Taylor, Bayard, (Studies in German 

Literature, G. P. Putnam's Sons, 

New York,) 127, 190, 193, 223, 241. 
Tegn^r, 250, 251, 252, 253, 254, 255, 

256, 257, 258, 259, 260, 261, 262, 

263, 264, 265, 266, 267, 268. 
Tennyson, 212, 214, 215, 216, 217, 

221, 222, 223, 224, 225, 226, 228, 

229, 231, 232. 
Vail, 281. 
Weber (translations), 95, 96, loi, 105, 

106, 107, 118, 119, 121. 
Wieland, 164, 165, 166, 167, 168, 170, 

171, 172, 173, 174, 17s, 177, 178, 

Wolfram von Eschenbach, 188, 190, 

193, 19s. 200. 


Aa'chen. See Aix-la-Chapelle. 
Ab-ra-ca-dab'ra. Malagigi's charm, 


A'CRE. Ogier besieges, 138. 

Adenet (a-de-na') Author of an epic 
on Ogier, 138. 

^'GIR. Northern god of the sea, 250. 

^-ne'AS. In mediaeval literature, 
303 ; adventures of, 304 ; Romans 
claim, 307- 

yEs'CHE-RE. Seized by Grendel's 
mother, 15 ; Beowulf offers to 
avenge, 16. 

Af'ri-ca. Brutus lands in, 308. 

Ag'nar. Son of Ragnar and Thora, 
272; a great viking, 274; fights 
Eystein, 276. 

Ag'ra-vaine. Doubts Arthur's ti- 
tle to throne, 216. 

Ai-go-lan'dus. Revolts against 
Charlemagne, 141. 

Aix-la-Cha-pelle'. Founding of, 
133; Ganelon executed at, 148; 
Renaud's body to be taken to, 162. 

A'lard. Son of Aymon, 154; Re- 
naud's affection for, 155 ; plays 
chess with Chariot, 155 ; prisoner 
of Charlemagne, 157; freed by Ma- 
lagigi, 158. 

Al'ba-nact. Son of Brutus, 309; 
wars against Humber, 309. 

Al-BA'ni-A. Name for Scotland, 

Al'ber-ICH. Dwarf guardian of treas- 
ure, 61 ; delivers hoard, 70 ; meets 
Ortnit under tree, 96; the father 
of Ortnit, 97; helps Ortnit, 97; 
warns Ortnit against dragons, 98; 


receives magic ring, 98; Wolfdie- 
trich warned by, 107; meets Die- 
trich, III. See Laurin and .£/&- 

Al'bi-on. Brutus lands in, 308. 

Al'boin. Sent in quest of armor, 86 ; 
and Rosamund, 87 ; cruelty of, 87 ; 
death of, 88. 

Al'dri-an. I. Father of Hagen, 75. 
II. Son of Hagen, betrays Etzel, 

Al'e-brand. See Hadubrand. 

Al-ex-an'der. Hero of metrical 
romance, 305 ; conquests of, 306 ; 
death of, 307. 

Al-ex-an'dre le Grant. Synopsis 
of, 305- 

Al-ex-an'drine meter. Origin of, 


A-LEX'is. Angela restored to, 170. 

Al'fer-ich. See Alberich. 

Al'fild. First wife of Sigurd Ring, 

Al-fon'so, Don. King of Leon, 
288; made prisoner, 290; escapes 
to Toledo, 290 ; hears of Don San- 
cho's death, 292 ; escapes from To- 
ledo, 292 ; king of Castile, 292 ; 
banishes Cid, 293 ; restores Cid to 
favor, 294 ; makes edict in favor of 
exiles, 294 ; takes Toledo, 294 ; de- 
feated by Cid, 294 ; encourages suit 
of Counts of Carrion, 295 ; responsi- 
ble for marriage of Cid's daughters, 
297 ; Cid seeks redress from, 297 ; 
refuses Babie9a, 297; gives orders 
for burial of Cid, 300. 

Al'fred. An ally of Ella, 279. 



Alf'sol. Sigurd Ring wooes, 270; 
death of, 270. 

Al-i-may'mon. Reveals how Toledo 
can be taken, 290 ; death of, 294. 

Almes'bur-y. Guinevere at, 232; 
Lancelot visits, 233 ; Guinevere dies 
at, 233. 

Al'PRIS. See Alberich. 

Al'te-cler. Sword of Oliver, 139. 

Am'a-dis of Gaul. Cycle of, 302. 

Am'a-ling Land. Italy called, 121 ; 
Dietrich king of, 121; invaded by 
imperial army, 123 ; Dietrich returns 
to, 125. 

Am'a-lung. Son of Hornbogi, 121. 

A-man'da. Rezia called, 175; mar- 
riage of, 17s ; in Titania's valley, 
175; mother of Huonet, 1 76 ; loses 
her child, and is captured by pirates, 
176 ; shipwreck of, 177; slave of the 
Sultan, 178; visits fairyland, 179; 
journeys to Paris, 179. 

Am'a-zons. Alexander visits, 306. 

Am-bro'si-us Au-re-li-a'nus. Brit- 
ish chief, 205. 

Am'e-lings. The, 100-109. 

Am'el-rich. Ferryman's signal, 76. 

Am-for'tas. Son of Frimoutel, 188 ; 
king of Montsalvatch, 189 ; wound 
of, 189, 197; agony of, 193, 194; 
brother of, 199 ; cured, 200 ; death 
of, 200; armor of, 201. 

An-gan'tyr. Helps to recover 
ship EUida, 250; ruler of Orkney 
Islands, 250 ; Frithiof sent to claim 
tribute from, 258 ; Frithiof's landing 
seen by watchman of, 260 ; Frithi- 
of's visit to, 261 ; purse of, 261. 

Angel. Visits Charlemagne, 130; 
visits Ogier, 137 ; visits Oliver, 139. 

An'ge-la. Huon advised by, 170; 
Huon delivers, 170. 

An-gi.o-Sax'ons. '" Beowulf" prob- 
ably composed by, 9. 

An-gou-laf'fre. Castle of, 169 ; 
Huon's encounter with, 169; ring 

of, 173- 

An-gur-'Va'dee. Magic sword, 247 ; 
Thorsten receives, 249 ; Frithiof in- 
herits, 253. 

An'ton. See Hector. 

Ant'WERP. Marriage of Else and 
Lohengrin at, 203. 

An'zi-us. Emperor of Constantino- 
ple, 100. 

A-pol'lo. Marsile worships, 144, 

A-ph'li-a. Part of Rother's king- 
dom, 89. 

A-qui-taine'. Walther son of duke 
of, 124; Brutus coasts along, 308. 

Ar'abs. Huon defeats a band of, 
166; Spain under the, 282. 

Ar'a-gon. Calahorra cause of quar- 
rel in, 286; Don Ramiro of, 286, 

Ardennes (ar-den'). Quest for rob- 
ber knight of the, 134; Aymon's 
sons take refuge in, 160. 

Ar-go-nau 'tic Expedition. In me- 
diaeval literature, 303. 

A'Ri-AS Gon-za'lo, Don. Receives 
challenge, 291. 

A-rib'a-dale. Bearer of Holy Grail, 

A-ri-os'to. Version of Roland by, 
130; Merlin's fountain mentioned 
by, 211 ; works of, 302, 307. 

Ar'nold, Matthew. Treats of Ar- 
thurian legend, 204 ; version of 
Tristan and Iseult, 234. 

Ar'thur. Dietrich wooes daughter 
of, 123; Ogier joins, 138; in 
Avalon, 139, 232 ; Parzival sets 
out for court of, 189; at Nantes, 
191 ; Parzival's request to, 192; 
Parzival sends conquered knights 
to, 196 ; knights Parzival, 196 ; 
Gawain a knight of, 196 ; hears of 
Gawain's prowess, 198 ; Parzival 
visits, 200; vain quest for Holy 
Grail, 201 ; legend of King, 204, 
214-233; Merlin serves, 205, 210; 
birth of, 210; Merlin makes palace 
and armor for, 211; adventures of, 
214; brought up by Sir Hector, 
214 ; comes to London, 215 ; adven- 
ture with sword, 215; overcomes 
Gawain, 216; secures sword Ex- 
calibur, 217; victories of, 217; mar- 
riage of with Guinevere, 217; re- 
ceives Round Table, 217; welcomes 
Lancelot, 220 ; repudiates and rein- 
states Guinevere, 220; questions 
knights, 225 ; cannot defend Guine- 
vere in judicial duel, 226 ; yearly 
tournaments of, 226; and Elaine, 



229 ; quarrels with Lancelot, 229 ; 
leaves Guinevere with Mordred, 
230; wars against Mordred, 230; 
mortal wound of, 231 ; disposes of 
Excalibur, 231 ; departs in barge, 
232; Philip II. 's oath in favor of, 
232; buried at Glastonbury, 232; 
Lancelot buried at feet of, 233; 
Tristan a contemporary of, 234; 
Tristan goes to court of, 243 ; Tris- 
tan delivers, 244 ; reconciles Mark 
and Iseult, 244. 

As'cA-LON. Huon at, 174. 

A'si-A. Monarch of, 179; Alexan- 
der sets out for, 306. 

AsK'HER. See jEschere. 

As'LAHG. Same as Krake ; story of 
birth and childhood of, 274; pre- 
diction of, 275 ; sons of, 275 ; begs 
that her sons may avenge Agnar 
and Erik, 276. 

As'PRi-AN. King of northern giants, 
90; and the lion, 90 ; carries off 
Imelot, 92. 

As'to-lat. Lancelot at, 227 ; Lance- 
lot comes to, 227 ; Elaine the lily- 
maid of, 228 ; Gawain comes to, 228. 

At'l6. Challenges Frithiof, 260. 

At'li. Same as Etzel, 53. 

At'ti-la. Same as Etzel, 94, 118; 
Theodoric born after death of, 128. 

Auch-in-leck' Manuscript. Sir 
Otuel in the, 143. 

AuDE (6d). Beloved by Roland, 149. 

Au'DOlN. King of Langobards, 86. 

Au-re'li-us Am-bro'si-us. Son of 
Constans, 205. 

Av'a-lon. Ogier to dwell in, 135, 
136 ; Morgana takes Ogier to, 138 ; 
Arthur in, 232. 

A'VARS. Aymon wars against the, 

A-ven'ti-cum. See Wiflisburg. 

A'YA. Aymon marries, 154; Aymon 
sends for, 154; goes to find her 
husband, 155 ; intercedes for her 
sons, 160; and Renaud, 161. 

Ay'mon. Chansons de gestes relat- 
ing to, 152 ; a peer of Charlemagne, 
152; wages war against Charle- 
magne, 152 ; helped by Bayard and 
Malagigi, 153; besieged by Charle- 
magne, 153; flight and victories 

of, 154; Charlemagne makes peace 
with, 154; marriage of, 154; adven- 
tures of, 154 ; distributes his proper- 
ty, 155 ; recovery of, 155 ; flees from 
court, 156 ; a captive, 156 ; Turpin's 
promise to, 156; oath of, 156; tries 
to seize his sons, 157; Malagigi 
frees sons of, 158; adventures of 
sons of, 158-161. 

Bab'i-can. King of Hyrcania, 171 ; 
Rezia dreams of, 171. 

Ba-bie'5a. Steed of the Cid, 286; 
Cid's ride to Zamora on, 291 ; offered 
to Alfonso, 297 ; Cid's last ride on, 
298, 299 ; end of, 300. 

Bab'y-lon. Ogier besieges, 138; 
same as Bagdad in mediaeval litera- 
ture, 164; Alexander crowned at, 

Bag-dad'- Huon to go to, 163, 164 ; 
same as Babylon, 164; Sherasmin 
indicates road to, 165 ; Huon re- 
sumes journey to, 169; Huon's ad- 
ventures in, 171. 

Bal'der. Shrine of, 254, 256, 257 ; 
temple of, 267. 

Ba'li-an. Seaport in Hagen's king- 
dom, 26. 

Bal'tic Sea. Bornholm, island in 
the, 247. 

Ban. Father of Lancelot, 219. 

Ba'ri. Capital of Rother, 89; arri- 
val of magician's vessel at, 93. 

Bau'ta. a memorial stone for Beo- 
wulf, 21. 

Ba-va'ri-a. Riidiger rides through, 


Bay'ard. Aymon's marvelous steed, 
153; Satan steals, 153; Malagigi re- 
covers, 153 ; Aymon saved by, 154; 
given to Renaud, 155; Renaud 
and his brothers escape on, 156; 
Renaud's adventures in Paris with, 
157 ; Renaud's escape on, 158 ; 
timely kick of, 159; Charlemagne 
demands death of, 161. 

Bech-lar'en. Riidiger of, 71, 120; 
Kriemhild at, 73; Burgundians at, 

Bed'i-vere, Sir. Finds Arthur dy- 
ing, 231 ; bids Arthur farewell, 232. 

Bee Hunter. See Becminlf. 



Bel6 (be-la'). Heir of Sogn, 249; 
replaced on throne, 250; conquers 
Orkney Islands, 250 ; helps Thors- 
ten secure Volund ring, 251; sons 
of, 251; last instructions of, 252; 
kings seated on tomb of, 254. 

Bel-fo-ra'do. Given to Rodrigo, 285. 

Bel-i-a'gog. Tristan conquers, 244. 

Bel'li-gan. City of, 106. 

Bel-lis-san'de. Wife of Ogier, 136. 

Bel'lyn. Escort of Reynard, 46; 
death of, 47 ; deceived by Reynard, 
48 ; accused of treachery, 49. 

Bel'RI-par. Capital of Conduira- 
mour, 192; Kardeiss king of, 201. 

Be-noIt' de Sainte-More. Poem 
of, 303 ; popularity of work of, 305. 

Be'o-wulf, 9-21; epic of, 9; re- 
solves to visit Denmark, \ i ; honors 
won by, 12 ; arrival in Denmark, 
13 ; guards Heorot and wounds 
Grendel, 13, 14; receives Brisinga- 
men, 15 ; hears of jEschere's death, 
15; and Grendel's mother, 16, 17; 
regency of, 18; reign of, 19; adven- 
ture with dragon, 19, 20 ; death and 
burial of, 21. 

Berch'ther of Me'ran. Adviser 
of Rother, 89; sons of, 89; accom- 
panies Rother, 90 ; guardian of 
Hugdietrich, 100 ; journey to Thes- 
salonica, loi ; finds Wolfdietrich, 
102 ; foster father of Wolfdietrich, 
103 ; warns Wolfdietrich against 
Ranch-Else, 104; Wolfdietrich re- 
members, 106; sons of delivered 
from captivity, 108 ; rewards given 
to sons of, 109. 

Berch'tung. See Berchther of Me- 

Be-ril'lus. Goes to Rome, 185. 

Bern. Same as Verona, 77, no; 
hero of, 115, 116, 126; Heime in, 
115; Wittich in, 116; Dietrich re- 
turns to, 117, 121 ; Wildeber comes 
to, 117; Laurin a prisoner in, 120; 
Wittich's return to, 122; Dietrich 
surrenders, 124; Dietrich's trium- 
phant entry into, 126. 

Ber'ners, Lord. Translates " Huon 
of Bordeaux," 163. 

Ber'serk-er. Rage, 24, 261 ; Atlfia, 

Ber-tan'ga Land. Same as Brit- 
ain, 123. 

Ber'tha. I. Mother of Charlemagne, 
129. II. Sister of Charlemagne 
and mother of Roland, 133. 

Berthe'lot. Same as Chariot, 155. 

Ber'wick. See Joyeuse Garde. 

Bi'bung. Dwarf protector of Vir- 
ginal, 133. 

Bjorn. I. Confidantof Frithiof, 254; 
plays chess with Frithiof, 255 ! 
steers Ellida, 259 ; carries men 
ashore, 259 ; takes charge of ElHda, 
264. II. Son of Ragnar, 274. 

Blaise. A holy man who baptizes 
Merlin, 206. 

Blaive. Roland buried at, 147 ; 
Lady Aude buried at, 149. 

Blanche'fleur. Wife of Meliadus 
and mother of Tristan, 235. 

Bl6'de-lin. Kriemhild bribes, 80. 

Boc-CAC'cio. Makes use of story 
of Griseldis, 302. 

Bo'gen. Son of Hildburg, 103. 

Bo'hort. Cousin of Lancelot, 219. 

Bo-iar'do. Writer of a version of 
the adventures of Roland, 130, 302 ; 
love of the marvelous shown in 
works of, 307. 

Bol-fri-an'a. Captivity of, 116; 
Dietrich rescues, 117; Wittich mar- 
ries, 122. 

Book of Heroes. Same as " Hel- 
denbuch," 86; Dietrich principal 
character in, no. 

BoR-DEAUx'. Huon in captivity in, 

Born'holm. Viking bom in, 247. 

Bouillon (boo-ySn'). Godfrey of, 

Bra-bant'. Else, Duchess of, 202. 
Brang'waine. Attendant of Iseult, 

240 ; confidante of Iseult, 242 ; Gan- 

hardin falls in love with image of, 

Brei'sach. Harlungs dwell at, 123. 
Bre'ka. Enters into swimming 

match with Beowulf, 12. 
Bret'land. Sot6 buried in, 251. 
Bri-sin'ga-men. Necklace given to 

Beowulf, 15. 
Brit'ain. Same as Bertanga land, 

123 ; Uther and Pendragon's wars 



in, 208 ; Holy Grail vanishes from, 
208; named by Brutus, 309; in- 
vaded by Romans, 309. 

British Museum. Manuscripts in, 9. 

Brit'ons. War of, 208. 

Brit'ta-ny. Soltane, forest in, 188 ; 
Broceliande in, 212; Arthur's cam- 
paign in, 217; Ban king of, 219; 
Lancelot retires to, 230; Arthur's 
second campaign in, 230; Tristan 
goes to, 243 ; Tristan returns to, 

Bro-CE-li-AN'de. Forest in Brittany, 

Brons. Brother-in-law of Joseph of 
Arimathea, 184. 

Brown. Sent to summon Reynard, 
39; arrives at Malepartus, 39; 
caught in tree trunk, 40; returns 
to court, 41 ; injuries of, 43 ; im- 
prisonment of, 46 ; release of, 47. 

Brun'hild. Gunther wishes to mar- 
ry, 58 ; test of strength of, 60 ; defeat 
of, 60 ; leaves her own country, 62 ; 
objects to Kriemhild's marriage, 
62 ; binds Gunther, 63 ; is conquered 
by Siegfried, and loses fabulous 
strength, 63 ; invites Siegfried and 
Kriemhild to Worms, 64 ; quarrels 
with Kriemhild, 64 ; in care of Ru- 
molt, 75 ; son of made king of Bur- 
gundy, 85 ; Aslaug daughter of, 

Bru'te. See Brutiis. 

Bru'tus. Metrical romance of, 307 ; 
descendant of Mneas, 307 ; adven- 
tures of, 307-309; descendants of, 

Bu'cAR. Besieges Valencia, 298; 

retreat of, 299. 
Buch-an'an. Poem of on Roland, 


Bur'gos. Cid born at, 282; Xime- 
na at, 284 ; inhabitants weep at Cid's 
departure from, 293. 

Bur-gun'di-ans. Siegfried chal- 
lenges, 56 ; Nibelungs support king 
of, 61 ; Nibelungs angry with, 69; 
nobles escort Kriemhild, 73; often 
called Nibelungs, 75 ; warning con- 
veyed to, 77 ; see hostility of Huns, 
79; kindly treated by Etzel, 79; 
murder of squires of, 80; bloody 

fight of, 81 ; bravery of, 82 ; 
slaughter of, 83; name Gunther's 
son king, 85 ; Hagen a hostage for, 
Bur'gun-dy. King and queen of, 53 ; 
Siegfried goes to, 55 ; threatened 
invasion of, 56; Brunhild receives 
king of, 59 ; Kriemhild remains in, 
69; Kriemhild wishes to leave, 71 ; 
Kriemhild's brothers return to, 73 ; 
chaplain returns to, 76; Etzel 
promises to send his son to, 80; 
Etzel makes peace with, 124; Hagen 
returns to, 124 ; Gunther, king of, 

Ca-la-hor'ra. On frontier between 
Castile and Aragon, 286. 

Cam'ber. Son of Brutus, names 
Cambria, 309. 

Cam'bri-a. Name;d after Camber, 309. 

Cam'e-lot. Palace at, 211, 218; 
feast at, 217; twelve kings buried 
at, 218 ; Lancelot at, 220, 221 ; 
knights assemble at, 224; appear- 
ance of Holy Grail at, 225 ; knights 
return to, 226; Guinevere's feast 
at, 226; funeral barge arrives at, 
228; Lancelot leaves and returns 
to, 229. 

Cam-pe-a-dor'. Title given to Cid, 
289, 290. 

Can'ter-bur-y Tales. Troilus and 
Cressida in, 305. 

Ca-ee'tian kings. Ogier reaches 
France during reign of one of, 138 ; 
origin of race of, 181. 

Cap-pa-do'cia. Berillus from, 185. 

Car'du-el. Same as Carlisle, 208; 
knights assemble at, 209. 

Car-lisle'. See Carduel. 

Ca-ro-lin'gian Legends, 129-181 ; 
Naismes the Nestor of, 144. 

Car'ri-on, Counts or Infantes 
OF. Marry Cid's daughters, 295 ; 
cowardice of, 295 ; Cid's followers 
gibe at, 296; illtreat their wives, 
296; Alfonso's anger with, 297; 
before the Cortes, 297 ; challenged, 
297; defeat of, 298. 

Cas-si-vel-lau'nus. Tristan may be 
a contemporary of, 234 ; a descend- 
ant of Brutus, 309. 



Cas-tii.e'. Invasion of, 283, 289; 
Calahorra near, 286 ; Don Sancho 
king of, 288 ; Cid and Don Sancho 
return to, 289 ; Cid's raid in, 294. 

Champ de Mars. The Frank assem- 
bly, 36. 

Chan'son de Ro'i.and. Sung at 
Hastings, 130; most famous ver- 
sion of Roland's death, 147- 

Char'le-magne. Conquers Lom- 
bardy, 88, 129, 137; and his pala- 
dins, 129-15 1 ; favorite hero of 
mediaeval literature, 129; champion 
of Christianity, 129; fabulous ad- 
ventures of, 129; Einhard son-in- 
law of, 130 ; chansons de gesies re- 
ferring to, 130; receives angel's 
visit, 130; conspirators punished 
by, 131 ; and Frastrada, 131 ; affec- 
tion of for Turpin, 132 ; founds Aix- 
la-Chapelle, 133; and the boy 
Roland, 134; asks for jewel of 
knight of the Ardennes, 134; 
knights Roland, 135 ; makes war 
against Denmark, 135 ; releases 
Ogier, 136; insulted byOgier, 136; 
appearance of, 136, 137, 141 ; and 
Ogier, 137; quarrels with Duke 
of Genoa, 139 ; Roland champion 
of, 139; vow and pilgrimage of, 
139; peers of, 139; vision of, 140; 
besieges Pamplona, 140 ; pilgrimage 
of to Compostela, 140 ; Aigolandus 
revolts against, 141 ; challenged by 
Ferracute, 141 ; sends Ogier to fight 
Ferracute, 142 ; dove alights on, 
143 ; wars in Spain, 143 ; sends em- 
bassy to Marsiglio, 144 ; retreat of, 
144; hears Roland's horn, 145; 
Turpin celebrates mass before, 147 ; 
returns to Roncesvalles, 147 ; orders 
trial of Ganelon, 148 ; Aymon a 
peer of, 152 ; character of, 152 ; wars 
against Aymon, 153; treats with 
Aymon, 154; coronation of at Rome, 
155; hostility toward sons of 
Aymon, 156; captures sons of 
Aymon, 157; bribes Iwo, 158; 
Richard carried captive to, 159; be- 
sieges Montauban, 159; and Mala- 
gigi, 160; Aya intercedes with, 
161 ; and Bayard, 161 ; Huon does 
homage to, ib3; gives orders to 

Huon, 163, 172; tournament of, 
179; pardons Huon, 181; contem- 
porary of Ragnar Lodbrok, 269; 
Italian cycle treats of, 302. 

Charles the Bald. Struggles of, 
152; claims descent from Trojan 
race, 307. 

Charles Mar-tel'. Deeds of attrib- 
uted to Charlemagne, 129. 

Char'lot. Kills Ogier's son, 136; 
Ogier demands death of, 137 ; Re- 
naud defeats, 155; quarrels with 
Alard, 155; death of, 163. 

Chau'cer. Uses tale of Griseldis, 
302 ; uses Troilus and Cressida, 

trwa'). Poems of, 182, 204, 219, 


Christ. Jews angry against Joseph 
for burying, 183 ; Vespasian hears 
story of, 183 ; born during reign of 
Cymbelinus, 309. 

Christian. Faith taught to Rezia, 
175; legends, 184; Fierefiss be- 
comes a, 200 ; faith, 277 '< army be- 
sieges Coimbra, 287; king takes 
Toledo, 294; army evacuates Va- 
lencia, 300. 

Chris-ti-a'ni-a-Fiord. Frithiof in 
the, 264. 

Christianity. Charlemagne cham- 
pion of, 129; Roland argues about, 
142 ; sadly mixed with mythology, 


Christians. Triumph in Spain, 143 ; 
massacre of, 145 ; enmity between 
Moors and, 154; can take Toledo, 
290; Bucar retreats before, 299; 
Moors routed by, 299. 

Chronicle of Turpin, 140. 

Cid, The, 282-300; birth of, 282; 
Ximena accuses, 284 ; Ximena mar- 
ries, 285 ; pilgrimage of to Santiago 
de Compostela, 285 ; adventure with 
leper, 286; duel of with Martin 
Gonzalez, 286; saved by Moorish 
kings, 287 ; at Zamora with Ximena, 
287; defeats champion of Henry 
III., 288; vassal of Don Sancho, 
288 ; victories of, 289 ; conducts 
siege of Zamora, 291 ; banished 
by Alfonso, 293 ; at Valencia, 294 ; 



cowardly sons-in-law of, 295 ; 
daughters of illtreated, 296 ; at the 
Cortes, 297 ; offers Babie9a to Al- 
fonso, 297 ; returns to Valencia, 
298 ; warned of coming death, 298 ; 
last instructions of, 298 ; death of, 
299 ; last victory of, 299 ; body of in 
state, 300 ; sword of, 300 ; chronicle 
of, 302. 

Cl-SAIRE', PASS OF. Roland's ghost 
at, 145. 

Claretie (kla-re-te'). Ancestress of 
Capetian race, 181. 

Clar'ice. Ogier marries, 138. 

Cla-ris'sa. Wife of Renaud, 156; 
treachery of father of, 158; inter- 
cedes for her father, 159; death of, 

Cleves. Henry the Fowler at, 202. 

Co-IM'BRA. Siege of, 287. 

Co-la'da. Sword won by Cid, 294 ; 
given to Infante of Carrion, 296; 
recovery of, 297. 

Co-logne'. Death and burial of Re- 
naud at, 162. 

Con-DUIR'a-mour. Parzival rescues 
and marries, 192; Parzival reminded 
of, 195 ; at Montsalvatch, 200 ; chil- 
dren of, 201. 

CoN'STANS. King of England, 205 ; 
sons of, 205, 208. 

Con'stan-tine. I. Father of Oda, 
89 ; and Rother, 90-93. II. Son of 
Constans, 205. 

CoN-STAN-Tl-NO'PLE. Embassy ar- 
rives at, 89; Rother's visit to, 89- 
93, 100; Anzius emperor of, 100; 
Hildburg goes to, 102; Wolfdie- 
trich king of, 103, io8; the Nor- 
mans in, 281. 

Co-ri-ne'a. Same as Cornwall, 309. 

Co-ri-ne'us. Companion of Brutus, 
308; the original Jack the Giant 
Killer, 308 ; kills Goemagot, 309. 

CoRN'vrALL. Tintagel in, 209 ; Gor- 
lois duke of, 209; Mark king of,. 
235, 240 ; Tristan in, 236, 237, 238 ; 
Iseult embarks for, 241 ; Iseult 
lands in, 242 ; Tristan's passion for 
Iseult of, 243, 244; Kurvenal's 
journey to, 244 ; arrival in Brittany of 
Iseultof,245 ; Tristan and Iseultbur- 
iedin, 245 ; Corineus settles in, 309. 

Cor'tes. Infantes of Carrion at the, 
297, 298. 

Cru-sades'. Influence of on litera- 
ture, 302. 

Cym-be-li'nus. Christ born during 
reign of, 309. 

Dag'o-bert. Claims descent from 
Trojan race, 307. 

Dane. Hawart the, 81 ; Dietlieb the, 
117; Ogier the, 129, 135. 

Danes. Beowulf escorted by, 16; 
gratitude of, 18 ; disapprove of Rag- 
nar's marriage, 274; Eystein &&- 
Clares war against, 276. 

Dan'ish. Writers, 246; dynasty 
connected with Sigurd, 269; ships 
burned by English, 276 ; kings 
make raids, 280; settlements, 280. 

Dank'rat. King of Burgundy, 53. 

Dank'wart. Under Siegfried's 
orders, 56; accompanies Gunther 
to Issland, 59 ; suspicion of, 59, 61 ; 
goes to Hungary, 75 ; helps Hagen, 
76; warns Hagen, 80. 

Dan'UBE. Journey of Kriemhild 
down the, 73 ; Burgundians reach 
the, 75. 

Den'mark. Hrothgar king of, 9; 
Beowulf sails for, 12 ; Wealtheow 
queen of, 15 ; Ludegast king of, 
56 ; Charlemagne defeats king of, 
135 ; Ogier king of, 136 ; Krake 
queen of, 274. 

Des'ert Bab-y-lo'ni-a. Kingdom 
of Imelot, 91 ; Constantino takes 
possession of, 92. 

Des-i-de'ri-us. See Didier. 

Di-a'na. Brutus in temple of, 308. 

Did'i-er. Ogier flees to, 136. 

Diego Laynez (de-a'go la'nez). In- 
sulted by Don Gomez, 282 ; avenged 
by Rodrigo, 283 ; takes Rodrigo to 
court, 283. 

Di-e'go Or-do'nez, Don. Sends 
challenge to Don Arias Gonzalo, 

Die-te-lin'de. Daughter of Riidiger, 
73; Giselher betrothed to, 77. 

Die'ther. Brought up by Hilde- 
brand, 112; Helche cares for, 124; 
death of, 126. 

Diet'lieb. Merry-making and ath- 



letic feats of, 117; lord of Steier- 
mark, 118; and Laurin, 119, 120; 
victory and reward of, 120. 

Diet'mar. Grandson of Wolfdie- 
trich, 109; ruler of Bern, no; 
death of, 121. 

Die'trich von Bern. Warns Bur- 
gundians, 77 ; defies Kriemhild, 
78 ; abstains from tournament, 79 ; 
Kriemhild tries to bribe, 80 ; a safe- 
conduct for, 81 ; saves Etzel and 
Kriemhild, 81 ; hears of Riidiger's 
death, 83 ; fights and captures Gun- 
ther and Hagen, 84 ; lament of, 85 ; 
ancestors of, 109; story of, iio- 
128; birth of, no; fiery breath of, 
no, 119; Hildebrand friend and 
teacher of, 1 10 ; adventure of with 
^Hilde and Grim, III; wins sword 
Nagelring, in; fights with Sigenot, 
1 1 2 ; sees and rescues Virginal, 112- 
114; marries Virginal, 114; gains 
possession of Heime and Falke, 115; 
Wittich's adventure with, 1 16 ; ad- 
ventures of with Ecke and Fasolt, 
116; delivers Sintram, 117; visits 
Rome, 117; and Laurin, 1 18-120; 
visits Etzel, 121 ; becomes king of 
Amaling land, 121 ; victories in 
Wilkina land, 121 ; wars against 
Rimstein, 122; Eckhardt joins, 123; 
Ermenrich wars against, 123 ; wooes 
Hilde, 123 ; exile of in Hungary, 
124; victories and wounds of, 125 ; 
returns to Bern, 125 ; fights against 
Ermenrich, 126; marriage of, 126; 
kills Sibich, 127; made emperor of 
West, 127; old age of, 128; Wild 
Hunt led by, 128 ; Ragnar saga like 
saga of, 269. 

Dol'fos, Vel'li-do or Bel'li-do. 
Murders Don Sancho, 291. 

Dor-dogne'. Aymon of, 152; Lord 
Hug of, 152. 

DORT'MUND. Renaud's body at, 

Dou'ro. River in Spain, 296. 

Do'VER. Arthur encounters Mordred 
near, 230. 

Dra'chen-fels. Dietrich saves lady 
of, 116; Wittich marries lady of, 
122; Roland wooes maid of, 150; 
Roland's return to, 151. 

Dragon Slayer. Surname of Sieg- 
fried, 275. 

Dragons. See Beowulf, Siegfried, 
Ortnit, Wolfdietrich, Tristan, Rag- 

Dray'ton. Author of " Polyolbion," 

Dru'si-an. Kidnaps Sigeminne, 105 ; 
Wolfdietrich captive of, 105 ; death 
of, 106. 

Dub'lin. Morold's corpse carried 
to, 237 ; Tristan's visit to, 238. 

Du'o-LIN DE May'ence. A chan- 
son de geste, 152. 

Dh-ran-da'na. Sword of Roland, 
139; powerless upon Ferracute, 
142 ; Roland disposes of, 146. 

Ead'gils. Son of Othere, 19. 
East. Ogier goes to the, 138 ; Holy 

Grail in the far, 201 ; Alexander's 

journey to the, 305 ; wealth of the, 

East Goth'land. Thora dwells in, 

Eck'e. Giant killed by Falke, 116; 

Dietrich takes sword of, 117. 
Eck'en-lied. Story of Ecke, 116. 
Eck'e-sax. Sword of Ecke, 117. 
Eck'e-wart. I. Escorts Kriemhild, 

64; remains with Kriemhild, 70; 

accompanies Kriemhild to Hungary, 

72 ; warns Burgundians, 76. II. 

See Eckhardt. 
ECK'HARDT. Fidelity of, 109, 123 ; 

flees to Dietrich, 123. 
Ec'tor de Ma'ris, Sir. Lancelot 

eulogized by, 233. 
Ed'da. Hilde in the, 22 ; Hedin in 

the, 25. 
Ein'hard. Son-in-law of Charle- 
magne, 130. 
Ein-he'ri-ar. Ragnar leader of the, 

E-laine'. Story of, 227-229. 
El'be-gast. Same as Alberich, in; 

Charlemagne's adventure with, 130, 

E'li-as. See Ylyas. 
El-ki'nar. Isegrim bound to bell 

at, 42. 
El'la. King of Northumberland, 

captures and kills Ragnar, 278 ; de- 



feats Ragnar's sons, 279 ; gives land 
to Normans, 279 ; Ivar kills, 280. 

El-li'da. The dragon ship given to 
Vilcing by ^Egir, 250 ; belongs to 
Frithiof, 253; in the storm, 258; 
arrives at Orkney Islands, 259; 
Frithiof sails in, 262. 

El'se. Story of Lohengrin and, 

El-si-nore'. Ogier sleeping in, 136. 

El-vi'ra, Dona. Receives Toro, 
288 ; robbed of Toro, 290. 

Em'er-ald Isle, 23. 

Eng'land. Invasion of, 9; rhyme 
introduced in, 9 ; Clarice, princess 
of, 138; Ogier leaves, 138; Hengist 
driven from, 205 ; Merlin brings 
stones, to, 208 ; Merlin's predictions 
concerning future of, 210; Arthur's 
name in, 214; dissensions in, 229; 
firm belief in concerning Arthur's 
return, 232 ; vikings' raids in, 276 ; 
stone altars in, 280; tradition of 
Trojan descent in, 307. 

Eng'lish. Version of Roland, 130; 
more than eighteen versions of 
Frithiof saga in, 246; fight Rag- 
nar's sons at Whitaby, 276. 

E'NID THE Fair. Story of, 222-224. 

Enig^e (a'ne-zha). Sister of Joseph 
of Arimathea, 184. 

E'rec. Name for Geraint in French 
and German poems, 223. 

E'rik. Son of Ragnar, 272 ; a great 
viking, 274 ; attacked by enchanted 
cow, 276. 

Er'me-lyn. Wife of Reynard, 45, 
46, 47. 

Er'men-rich. Treasure of, 45; 
emperor of the West, no; Die- 
trich's visit to, 117; Dietlieb re- 
warded by, 118; Dietrich helps, 
122; and Sibich, 122, 123; wars 
against Dietrich, 126 ; death of, 126. 

Er'MO-nie. Meliadus lord of, 234. 

Erp. Son of Helche, 125 ; death of, 

Es-clar-mon'de. Same as ■ Rezia, 
171, 175 ; early version of story of, 

Es-tre-ma-du'ra. Moors defeated 
in, 287. 

E-tru'ri-A. Luna in, 276. 

Et'zel. Same as Atli, 53; wooes 
Kriemhild, 71 ; Kriemhild sets out 
for court of, 72 ; Kriemhild wife of, 
73 ; invites Burgundians to Hun- 
gary, 74; welcomes Burgundians, 
78 ; banquet of, 79 ; promises to send 
son to Burgundy, 80; saved from 
massacre, 81 ; Burgundians wish to 
treat with, 82 ; cannot save Hagen, 
84; lament of, 85; Helche marries, 
94; Dietlieb serves, 118; Dietrich 
visits, 121, 124; Walther escapes 
from, 124; gold stolen from, 124; 
cowardice of, 125 ; helps Dietrich, 
125 ; marries Kriemhild, 126 ; killed 
by Aldrian, 127; same as Attila, 

Eu'rope. " Beowulf " oldest relic of 
spoken language in, 9; " Reynard 
the Fox" popular in, 35 ; to be in- 
fested by dragons, 98 ; Charlemagne 
conquers nearly all, 140 ; introduc- 
tion of legend of Holy Grail in, 
182 ; popularity of Arthurian legends 
in, 214; popularity of " Roman de 
Troie " in, 304. 

Eu-ro-pe'an. Versions of legends, 
205 ; versions of Tristan, 234 ; 
languages, sagas translated into, 
246; states, romances current in, 
301 ; nations, classical romances in, 
303 ; versions of Iliad, 304 ; litera- 
ture, mention of Fountain of Youth 
in, 306 ; colonization, 307. 

Ex-cal'i-bur. Arthur's sword, 217 ; 
Arthur disposes of, 231. 

Ey'stein. Ragnar visits, 274; wars 
against Danes, 276 ; magic cow of, 

Fa'e-rie Queene. Merlin's foun- 
tain mentioned in, 211; contains 
mediaeval legends, 310. 

Faf'nir. Sigurd slayer of, 269, 274. 

Faf'nis-bane. Surname of Sigurd, 

Fair An'net. Loved by Lord Thom- 
as, 245. 

Fa'lies, Marquis of. Sword Tizo- 
na in -family of, 300. 

Fal'KE. Horse of Dietrich, 115; 
kills Ecke, 116. 

Fal'ster Wood. Heime in the, 1 1 7. 



Fa'solt. Dietrich defeats, 117. 
Fa'ta Mor-ga'na. Mirage called, 


Fat'i-ma. Attendant of Rezia, 173; 
in Tunis, 177; finds Amanda, 1 78 ; 
taken to fairyland, 179; rescued by 
Huon and Sherasmin, 180. 

Fe'lez Mu-noz.' Nephew of Cid, 
296 ; rescues his cousins, 296. 

Fer'di-nand. Rodrigo's first visit 
to, 283 ; recalls Rodrigo, 284 ; Xim- 
ena before, 284 ; receives gifts from 
Cid, 287; Henry III. complains of 
to Pope, 287 ; threatened by Pope, 
288 ; Cid's victories for, 288 ; death 
and legacies of, 288. 

Fer'ra-cute. Challenges Charle- 
magne, 141 ; defeats Ogier and Re- 
naud, 142 ; fights and argues with 
Roland, 142, 143 ; Otuel, nephew 
of, 143. 

Fer'ra-gus. See Ferracute. 

FlEREFiss (fy^r-e-fes'). Encounters 
Parzival, 199 ; conversion and mar- 
riage of, 200 ; father of founder of 
Knights Templars, 200. 

Fire'drake. Ravages of the, 19; 
slain by Beowulf, 20. 

Flam'berge. Sword of Aymon, 
154; Renaud, owner of, 158; Re- 
naud breaks, 161. 

Flan'ders. "Reynard the Fox" 

m. 35- 

Flor'ence. Council at, 287. 

Flor'i-da. Ponce de Leon in, 306. 

Fountain of Youth, 306. 

Fram'nas. Home of Thorsten and 
Frithiof, 250, 251, 253; ruins of, 

France. "Reynard the Fox" in, 
35 ; Charlemagne principal hero of, 
129; Ogier in, 136, 138; Charle- 
magne in, 140, 141, 144, 148 ; Huon 
embarks for, 174; Capetian kings 
of, 181 ; legend of Holy Grail in, 
182 ; Merlin brings armies from, 
210; viking raids in, 276; king of, 

Franks. And " Reynard the Fox," 
35 ; assembly of, 36 ; hostage from, 
124; at feud with Lombardy, 136. 

Fras-trad'a. Wife of Charlemagne, 

Fred'er-ick Bar-bar-OS 'sa. Ogier 
like, 136. 

Fred'er-ick of Tel'ra-mund. 
Guardian and oppressor of Else, 
202 ; defeated by Lohengrin, 203. 

French. Version of Roland, 130; 
army betrayed by Ganelon, 144; 
version of Tristan, 234; kings de- 
scended from Priam, 307. 

Frie'sian. Invasion, 18 ; sea, Char- 
lemagne's vision of, 140. 

Fries'land. Invasion of, 18. 

Fri-mou-tel'. Anointed king, 188; 
death of, 189. 

Frithiof (frit'yof). Story of, 246- 
268 ; saga put into verse by Tegn^r, 
246 ; birth of, 25 1 ; loves Ingeborg, 
251, 252; home of, 253; sues for 
hand of Ingeborg, 254; suit of re- 
jected, 255 ; Ingeborg's brothers ask 
aid of, 255 ; meets Ingeborg in tem- 
ple, 256 ; tries to make terms with 
kings, 257; journey to Orkney 
Islands, 258 ; in tempest, 259 ; fights 
Atl6, 260; visits Angaiityr, 261; 
returns to Framnas, 261; goes into 
exile, 262 ; becomes a pirate, 263 ; 
visits Sigurd Ring, 264; Ingeborg 
recognizes, 265 ; loyalty of, 265 ; 
guardian of infant king, 266; re- 
builds temple, 267; marries Inge- 
borg, 267. 

Frute. Follower of Hettel, 25 ; in 
quest of Hilde, 26. 

Ga'her-is. Doubts Arthur's title to 
throne, 216. 

Ga-la'fre. Huon and Sherasmin at 
court of, 180. 

Gal'a-had, Sir. Knighted by Lance- 
lot, 224 ; occupies ' ' Siege Peril- 
ous," 224; sees Holy Grail, 226. 

Ga-li'cia. Charlemagne called to, 
140 ; Don Garcia king of, 288, 289. 

Ga-li'cian. Nobles refuse to ex- 
change prisoners, 289. 

Gal'y-en. Son of Oliver, and king 
of Jerusalem, 140. 

Gal'y-en Rhet-or-^'. A chanson 
degeste, 139. 

Ga'mu-ret. Marries Herzeloide, 

Ga'ne-lon. Treachery of, 144, 145; 



accused and sentenced, 148; advises 
Chariot, 155. 

Ganhardin (gan-har-dan'). Wishes 
to marry Brangwaine, 244. 

GARADiE(ga-ra-de'), Count. Hagen 
in the hands of, 24. 

Gar-ci'a, Don. King of GaUcia, 
288 ; seizes Zamora, 289 ; dies in 
captivity, 290. 

Gar'den. Wolfdietrich at, 107; 
Herbrand receives, 109 ; Hikle- 
brand inherits, 109; Ermenrich 
takes, 123; Dietrich master of, 
126; Hildebrand's return to, 126. 

Ga'reth, Sir. Knighted by Lance- 
lot, 22 1 ; adventures with Lynette, 
222 ; Geraint brother of, 222. 

Ga'ry. Messenger sent by Gunther 
to Siegfried, 64; goes to Hungary, 


Ga'wain. Rides after Parzival, 196 ; 
and Duchess Orgueilleuse, 197; 
adventures with Gramoflaus and 
Klingsor, 197, 198 ; marriage of, 
198 ; one of Arthur's knights, 209 ; 
doubts Arthur's title to throne, 216 ; 
strength of, 216; comes to Astolat, 

Geates. Minstrel flees to the, 1 1 ; 
Beowulf escorted by the, 16 ; wait 
for Beowulf, 17; return with Hy- 
gelac's body, 18. 

Geirs'-odd. Sacrificial runes called, 

Gel'frat. Fights Hagen, 76. 

Gen'o-a, Duke of. Charlemagne's 
quarrel with, 139. 

Geof'frEY de Ligny (len'ye). Au- 
thor of a Lancelot romance, 219. 

Geof'frey of Mon'mouth. Writ- 
ings of, 204, 307, 309. 

Gep'I-d^. Settle in Pannonia, 86; 
quarrel with Lombards, 87. 

Ge-raint'. Brother of Gareth, 222 ; 
story of Enid and, 222 - 224. 

Ge-ras'mes. See Sherasmin. 

Ger'hart. Claims Liebgart's hand, 

Ger'ims-burg. Siege of, 122. 

Ger-lin'da. Cruelty of, 30-32 ; 
death of, 33. 

Ger'man, Manuscript of "Gudrun," 
22, 23; Von Ofterdingen a, 53; 

literature, 53 ; language, Eckewart's 
fidelity proverbial in, 70 ; version of 
Roland legend, 130; Wagner a, 
182 ; more than eighteen versions of 
Frithiof saga in, 246. 

Ger'ma-ny. Maximilian emperor 
of, 22; Hettel king of, 25; " Rey- 
nard the Fox " in, 35 ; the greatest 
epic of, 53 ; in Charlemagne's vision, 
140 ; legend of Holy Grail in, 182 ; 
Henry the Fowler emperor of, 202 ; 
Henry HI. emperor of, 287. 

Ger'not. Son of Dankrat and Ute, 
53 ; under Siegfried's orders, 56 ; 
advice of, 57 ; Hagen tries to rouse 
anger of, 66 ; sympathy of, 69 ; 
anger of, 71 ! escorts Kriemhild to 
Vergen, 73 ; sword of, 77 ; death of, 


Gier'e-mund. Reynard insults, 36 ; 
wooed by Reynard, 38. 

Gil'das. -307. 

Gi-rard'. I. Brother of Huon, 
killed by Chariot, 163. II. A knight, 
steals Huon's casket, 180; pun- 
ished by Oberon, 181. 

Gis'el-her. Son of Dankrat and 
Ute, 53 ; under Siegfried's orders, 
56 ; reproves Hagen, 66 ; sympathy 
of, 69 ; angry with Hagen, 71 ; es- 
corts Kriemhild to Vergen, 73 ; 
betrothal of, 77. 

Glas'ton-bur-y. Holy Grail at, 
185 ; Arthur buried at, 232 ; Guine- 
vere and Lancelot buried at, 233. 

God'frey of Bouil'lon. Ancestor 
of, 139; king of Jerusalem, 161. 

GoEmagot (go-e-ma-got'). Corineus 
kills, 309. 

Goethe (go'teh) "Reineke Fuchs " 
of, 36 ; admiration of for Tegn^r, 

Go'mez, Don. Insults Don Diego 
Laynez, 282 ; challenged and killed 
by Rodrigo, 283 ; Ximena daughter 
of, 284. 

Gor'lo-is. Lord of Tintagel, wars 
against Uther Pendragon, 209 ; 
death of, 210 ; Arthur not a son of, 

Go-TE-LIN'DE. Wife of Riidiger, 73. 

Goth'land, East, 271. 

Goths. See Geates, 




Treats of Holy Grail, 182, 204; 

version of " Tristan" of, 234. 
GOZZOLI (got'so-lee). Painting of, 


Grail. See Holy Grail. 

Gram'o-flaus. Encounter of with 
Gawain, 197; Parzival champion of, 
198; marries Itonie, 198. 

Gran. Capital of Etzel, 73; min- 
strels return to, 75. 

Gra'vain. One of Arthur's knights, 

Greece. Hertnit earl of, 121; 
Tristan known in, 234; isles of, 
264; viking raid in, 276; popu- 
larity of Iliad in, 304; Brutus goes 
to, 307; Pandrasus king of, 308. 

Greek. Islands invaded by vikings, 
276 ; epics, 303 ; post-classical writ- 
ings, 303 ; rhapsodists' work contin- 
ued, 304 ; writers busy with Alex- 
ander, 305. 

Gren'del. Heorot visited by, 10; 
warriors slain by, 1 1 ; Beowulf and, 
12-14; mother of, 15; Beowulf 
visits retreat of, 16, 17. 

Grif'fin. Hagen carried off by a, 


Grim. Depredations of, iii ; killed 
by Dietrich, 1 11 ; Sigenot vows to 
avenge, 112. 

Grim 'BART. Cousin of Reynard, 36 ; 
defends Reynard, 37; pleads for 
Reynard, 38 ; carries message to 
Reynard, 42 ; absolves Reynard, 
42 ; reproves Reynard, 43 ; warns 
Reynard, 47; takes Reynard to 
court, 48. 

Grim'hild. See Kriemhild. 

Gri-sel'dis. Tale of, 302. 

Guar'da. See Garden. 

Gu'drun. I. The poem, 22. II. 
Daughter of Hettel and Hilde, 27 ; 
suitors of, 28 ; kidnaped by Hart- 
mut, 29 ; slavery of, 30 ; swan 
maiden visits, 3 1 ; rebellion of, 32 ; 
rescue of, 33 ; marries Herwig, 34. 
III. Same as Kriemhild, 53. 

Gu^r'in de Mont'glave. a chan- 
son de geste, 139. 

Gui-enne'. Huon and Girard on 
the way from, 163 ; Huon's patri- 

mony of, 179; Huon's journey to, 

Guild' FORD. See Astolat. 

GuiN ' e-vere. Marries Arthur, 217; 
and Lancelot, 220, 221 ; favors of, 
227 ; hears of Lancelot and Elaine, 
228 ; saved by Lancelot, 229 ; and 
Mordred, 230 ; at Almesbury, 232 ; 
death of, 233; Iseult like, 242; 
Iseult meets, 244. 

Guis'CARD. Son of Aymon and Aya, 


Gung'thiof. Son of Frithiof, 267. 

GuN'NAR. Same as Gunther, 53. 

Gun'ther. Same as Gunnar, 53; 
Siegfried at court of, 55, 56 ; goes 
to Issland to woo Brunhild, 59; 
contest of with Brunhild, 60; 
marriage of, 61 ; gives Kriem- 
hild to Siegfried, 62; bound by 
Brunhild, 63 ; invites Siegfried to 
Worms, 64 ; influenced by Hagen, 
66 ; race of, 67 ; protector of 
Kriemhild, 68; reconciled to 
Kriemhild, 70; plans to secure 
hoard, 71 : receives Hun em- 
bassy, 72 ; goes to Hungary, 75 ; 
entertained by Riidiger, 77 ; enter- 
tained by Etzel, 80; grants safe- 
conduct to Dietrich, 81 ; refuses to 
surrender Hagen, 82 ; imprison- 
ment and death of, 84; son of, 
85; encounter with Walther, 124; 
wounds of, 125. 

Gur'ne-manz. Educates Parzival, 
192, 196. 

Gu'trun. See Kriemhild. 

Ha'che. Receives Rhine land, 109. 

Had'burg. Prophecy of, 75. 

Had'u-brand. Son of Hildebrand, 
126; makes himself known to his 
father, 127. 

Ha'gen. I. Son of Sigeband, car- 
ried off by a griffin, 23 ; adventures 
and marriage of, 24 ; daughter of, 
25 ; fights Hettel, 27. II. Same as 
Hogni, 53 ; describes Siegfried's 
prowess, 55 ; accompanies Gunther 
to Issland, 59 ; promises to avenge 
Brunhild, 65 ; deceives Kriemhild, 
66 ; kills Siegfried, 67 ; glories in 
his treachery, 68 ; the touch of, 69 ; 



hatred of Kriemhild for, 70 ; seizes 
hoard, 71 ; welcomes Rudiger, 71 ; 
warns Burgundians, 72, 74 ; Kriem- 
hild plans to have revenge upon, 
73 ; swan maidens and, 75 ; adven- 
ture at the ferry, 76 ; receives shield 
from Rudiger, 77 ; Etzel welcomes, 
78 ; alliance with Volker, 78 ; 
frightens Huns, 79; kills Ortlieb, 
80; Kriemhild offers reward for 
death of, 81 ; Kriemhild asks sur- 
render of, 82 ; Dietrich asks sur- 
render of, 83 ; captivity and death 
of, 84; a hostage of Etzel, 124; 
loses an eye, 125 ; Aldrian son of, 

Half'dan. I. Friend of Viking, 247 ; 
makes friends with Njorfe, 248; 
Viking's sons visit, 249. II. Son 
of Bel6, 251; character of, 252; 
king of Sogn, 253 ; guardian of 
Ingeborg, 255 ; Sigurd Ring wars 
against, 256 ; Frithiof wars against, 

Hal'o-ga-land. North Norway 
called, 246. 

Hal'o-ge. Same as Loki, rules 
Halogaland, 246 ; Viking the grand- 
son of, 247. 

Ham. Witch summoned by Helg6, 

Har'dred. Son of Hygelac, reign 
of, 18. 

Har'lungs. Sibich betrays the, 123. 

Hart'mann von Aue, 204. 

Hart'mut. Prince of Normandy, 
28; kidnaps Gudrun, 29; Gndrun 
refuses to marry, 29 ; rescues 
Gudrun from drowning, 30 ; pre- 
pares to marry Gudrun, 32; res- 
cues Gudrun, 33 ; saved by Gudrun, 
33 ; a captive, 34; marries Hergart, 
and is released, 34. 

Has' SAN. Name assumed by Huon 
in Tunis, 177. 

Hast'ings. I. Battle of, 130. II. 
Foster father of Sigurd the Snake- 
eyed, 275 ; and Ragnar's sons, 276 ; 
strategy of, 277. 

Ha' WART. Death of, 81. 

Hec'tor, Sir. Arthur fostered by, 
210, 214; visit of to London, 

Hed'in. Lover of Hilde, 22 ; same 
as Hettel, 25. 

He'ge-ling Legend, 23. 

He'ge-lings. Family of the, 23; 
Hettel king of the, 25 ; Hilde flees 
with the, 27 ; at the Wiilpensand, 
29 ; come to Normandy, 32 ; re- 
turn home, 34. 

Heid. Witch summoned by Helg6, 

Hei'me. Challenges Dietrich, 115; 
becomes a brigand, 117; steals 
Mimung, 121 ; forced to restore 
Mimung, 122. 

Hei'mir. Protector of Aslaug, 274. 

Hein'rich von Of'ter-ding-en, 

Helche. Wife of Etzel, 71, 124; 
daughter of Rother and Oda, 94. 

Hel'den-buch. The " Book of 
Heroes," 86, 128. 

Hel'en. I. Mother of Lancelot, 
219. II. In mediaeval literature, 
kidnaping of, 304. 

Hel'e-nus. Descendants of in 
Greece, 307. 

Hel'ge. Son of Bel^, 251 ; refuses 
to give Ingeborg to Frithiof, 255 ; 
rejects Sigurd Ring, 255; makes 
treaty with Sigurd Ring, 256; ac- 
cuses Frithiof of sacrilege, 257; 
stirs up tempest against Frithiof, 
258 ; Angantyr refuses to pay trib- 
ute to, 261 ; Frithiof snatches ring 
from wife of, 261 ; pursues Frithiof, 

Ht'LiE DE Bor'ron, 234. 

Hel'i-go-land. Rumor of Dietrich's 
valor reaches, 115- 

Hel'kap-pe. See Tamkappe. 

Hel'mi-gis. Rosamund and, 88. 

Hen'gist. Driven from England, 
205 ; Saxons led by, 208. 

Hen'ning. Complaint of against 
Reynard, 38. 

Henry I., the Fowler. Hears 
accusation against Else, 202. 

Henry III. Emperor of Germany, 

Henry VIII. Lord Berners trans- 
lates " Huon of Bordeaux " for, 

He'o-rot. Hrothgar builds, 10; 



Beowulf's experiences in, 13; 

Grendel's limb a trophy in, 15 ; 

Beowulf's triumphant return to, 18. 
He'rand. See Herrat. 
Her'bart. Nephew of Dietrich, 

elopes with Hilde, 123. 
Her'brand. Son of Berchther, 109; 

father of Hildebrand, no; the 

wide-traveled, 121. 
Her'cu-les, Pillars of. Brutus 

passes, 308. 
Her'ka. See Helche. 
Her'lind. Maid of Oda, 90 ; brings 

gifts to Oda, 91. 
Her'rat. Wife of Dietrich, 126; 

death of, 127. 
Hert'nit. Wittich a prisoner of, 

121; Wildeber visits, 121; death 

of, 122. 
Her' WIG. King of Zealand, fights 

with Hettel, 28; betrothed to'Gu- 

drun, 28; wars of, 29; comes to 

Normandy to rescue^ Gudrun, 31; 

saves Gudrun, 33 ; marries Gudrun, 


Her-ze-loi'de. Sigune brought up 
by, 188; wife of Gamuret and 
mother of Parzival, 188; parts 
from Parzival, 191 ; Parzival goes 
in search of, 192 ; Parzival hears of 
death of, 199. 

He'si-od. Heroes of in mediceval 
literature, 303. 

Hesse. Burgnndian army passes 
through, 57. 

Het'tel. Wooes Hilde, 25, 26 ; 
marries Hilde, 27; dismisses Gu- 
drun's suitors, 28 ; death of, 29. 

Hild'burg. I. Hagen finds, 23. 
n. Companion of Gudrun, 30; 
meets Ortwine, 31; wooed by 
Ortwine, 32 ; marries Ortwine, 34. 
III. Hugdietrich wooes, 100; se- 
cret marriage of, loi ; the son of, 
loi, 102 ; banished by Sabene, 103. 

Hil'de. I. In the Edda, 22; an 
Indian princess, 23 ; Hagen mar- 
ries, 24 ; daughter of, 25. II. Suit- 
ors of, 25 ; educates Gudrun, 28 ; 
welcomes Gudrun home, 34. III. A 
giantess, Dietrich's encounter with, 
III. IV. Daughter of Arthur, 
elopes with Herbart, 123. 

Hil'de-brand. I. Claims body of 
Riidiger and fights Burgundians, 
83 ; kills Kriemhild, 84 ; lament of, 
85. II. Inherits Garden, 109; tutor 
of Dietrich, no; fights Grim and 
Hilde, III; marriage of, 112; ad- 
venture of with Sigenot, 112, 113; 
adventure of with magicians, 114; 
Wittich jneets, 115; steals Wittich's [ 
sword, 116; Ilsan brother of, 117; 
Dietlieb pawns steed of, 117; first 
Rose Garden adventure of, 118, 
iig; second Rose Garden adven- 
ture of, 120 ; campaign of in Wil- 
kina land, 12 1 ; ransom of, 124; 
returns to Garden, 126; rejoins 
his wife, 127. 

Hil'de-garde. Story of Roland and, 
150, 151. 

Hil'de-grim. Giant's helmet, in. 

Hil-de-gun'de. Adventures of, 124, 

Hil'ding. Foster father of Frithiof 
and Ingeborg, 251 ; asks Frithiof 's 
aid for kings of Sogn, 255; failure 
of mission of, 256 ; annotmces Inge- 
borg's marriage to Frithiof, 261. 

HiNTZE. Complains of Reynard, 37 ; 
accused of theft, 38 ; adventures of 
at Malepartus, 41 ; imprisonment 
of, 46. 

Hle'dra. Capital of Denmark, 271 ; 
Thora arrives at, 272 ; Krake at, 
274; Ivar's brothers return to, 280. 

HSg'ni. I. Pursues Hilde, 22. II. 
Same as Hagen, 53. 

Hol'ger Dan'ske. See Ogier. 

Hol'land. Ireland in, 23. 

Holm'gang. Northern duel, 247. 

Holy Grail, 182-203; origin of 
legend of, 182 ; a sacred dish or 
cup, 183; Joseph of Arimathea sup- 
ported in prison by, 183 ; at Mar- 
seilles, 184; at Glastonbury, 185; 
Titurel appointed guardian of, 185 ; 
temple of, 186 ; descent of, 187 ; 
commands that Frimoutel be king, 
188; commands that Amfortas be 
king, 189 ; promise of, 189 ; Parzival 
sees, 193; Parzival's quest for, 195— 
200 ; Kundrie a messenger of, 196 ; 
Gawain's quest for, 196 ; Trevrezent 
renounces, 199 ; Parzival finds, 199 ; 



Payzival uncovers, 200; Arthur's 
knights' quest for, 201, 225 ; Lohen- 
grin servant of, 201, 203; legend 
of, 204 ; place at the Round Table 
for, 208, 218; Lancelot cured by, 
221; appearance of, 225; Parzival, 
Lancelot, and Galahad saw, 226 ; 
tales of, 301. 

Holy Land. Renaud goes to, 161 ; 
knight returns from, 183. 

Ho'mer. Heroes of, 303. 

Ho'rant. Follower of Hettel, 25 ; 
his skill as minstrel, 26, 34. 

HOR'DA-LAND. Frithiof in, 267. 

Horn'bo-gi. Wittich meets, 115; 
father of Amalung, 121. 

Horses. See Rispa, Falke, Veillan- 
tif. Bayard, and Babiefa. 

Hroth'gar. Descent of, 9 ; hall of, 
10 ; reward offered by, 1 1 ; Beowulf 
at court of, 13; feast of, 15; grief 
of, 15 ; Beowulf takes leave of, 16. 

Hroud'lan-dus. Same as Roland, 

Hug. Lord of Dordogne, slain by 
Charlemagne, 152; avenged by 
Aymon, 154. 

Hug-die'trich. I. Son of Anzius, 
100; wooes and marries Hildburg, 
loi ; intrusts wife and child to care 
of Sabene, 102 ; suspicions of, 103 ; 
death and will of, 103. II. Son 
of Wolfdietrich, 109; father of 
Dietmar, no. 

HUGUES. King of Jerusalem, 139; 
Oliver marries daughter of, 140. 

Hum'ber. King of the Huns, 309. 

Hun'ga-ry. Etzel king of, 71 ; 
Gunther starts out for, 75 ; Kriem- 
hild's purpose in coming to, 82 ; 
fatal ride to, 85 ; part of Pannonia, 
86; Wildeber in, 121; Aymon's 
wars in, 152. 

Huns. King of, 72, 94, 118, 121 ; 
Kriemhild queen of, 72 ; power of, 
72; Burgundians crowded by, 79; 
Kriemhild brings misery upon, 84 ; 
gratitude of Helche, queen of the, 
125 ; Dietrich's sojourn with the, 
126 ; Humber king of. the, 309. 

Hun'THIOF. Son of Frithiof and 
Ingeborg, 267. 

Hun'vor. Swedish princess, 247. 

Hu'ox OF Bor-deaux', 163-181; 
hero of poem, 163 ; Charlemagne's 
orders to, 163; visits Pope, 164; 
meets Sherasmin, 165 ; in enchanted 
forest, 166; Oberon's gifts to, Ib8; 
at Tourmont, 169 ; adventures with 
Angoulaffre, 169, 170; adventure 
with Saracen, 170; reaches Bag- 
dad, 171; adventures at Bagdad, 
1 71-174; Oberon's orders to, 174; 
disobedience of, 175 ; on desert is- 
land, 175, 176; in Tunis, 177; car- 
ried to fairyland by Oberon, 179, 
181; at the tournament, 179; re- 
turns to Guienne, l8o; other ver- 
sions of story of, 180; ancestor of 
Capetian race, 181. 

Hu'o-net. Birth and disappearance 
of, 1 76;, restoration of, 179. 

Hvit'serk. Son of Ragnar, 274. 

Hygd. Wife of Hygelac, 18. 

Hy'ge-lac. King of the Geates, 1 1 ; 
gives Nageling to Beowulf, 12; 
wars and death of, 18. 

Hyr-ca'ni-a. Babicanking of, 171. 

Ice'LAND. Story of Tristan popular 
in, 234 ; the Iliad in, 304. 

Il'i-ad. Popularity of the, 304. 

Il'san. Brother of Hildebrand, 117, 
120; rudeness and cruelty of, 120, 

Im'e-lot. King of Desert Babylo- 
nia, 91 ; a captive, 92 ; Rother hears 
of escape of, 93. 

In'di-A. Hunvor carried off to, 247 ; 
Alexander's adventures in, 306. 

In-fan'tes. Of Carrion, 295-298; 
of Navarre, 297- 

In'ge-BORG. I. Attendant of Hun- 
vor, 247. II. Transformed into a 
witch, 249 ; Thorsten saved by, 
250; mother of Frithiof, 251. HI. 
Daughter of Bel^, and playmate of 
Frithiof, 251 ; Frithiof vows to 
marry, 252 ; Frithiof sues for, 254 ; 
Sigurd Ring sues for, 255 ; meets 
Frithiof in temple, 256, 257; Fri- 
thiof parts with, 258; married to 
Sigurd Ring, 261, 269; Frithiof 's 
longing for, 264; Frithiof visits, 
265 ; given to Frithiof by Sigurd 
Ring, 266; Frithiof wars against 



brothers of, 267 ; marriage of Fri- 
thiof and, 267. 

Ing'el-heim. Palace at, 131. 

Ire'land. I. In Holland, 23. II. 
Merlin brings stones from, 208; 
Ryance king of, 217; Morold 
comes from, 236 ; Tristan goes to, 
237; Tristan's visits to, 238; vik- 
ing raids in, 276. 

I'RiNG. Killed by Hagen, 81. 

I'RISH. King defeats Mark, 237; 
attendants carry Morold's remains 
to Ireland, 237 ; Tristan at court of 
the, 238 ; king, butler of, 239. 

Ir'min-sul. Charlemagne destroys 
the, 129. 

Irn'fried. Attacks the Burgundi- 
ans, 81. 

Is'e-grim. Complaint of against 
Reynard, 36; and the fish, 37; a 
victim of Reynard's jokes, 42 ; ac- 
cused by Reynard, 44; imprison- 
ment of, 46; robbed by Reynard, 
48 ; disloyalty of, 51; duel with 
Reynard, 51 ; death of, 52. 

I 'SEN-LAND. Hagen finds princess 
of, 23. 

I-SEULT'. I. Sister of Morold, cures 
of, 237; Tristan healed by, 238. 
II. Daughter of Iseult I., Tristan 
teaches, 238 ; hand of promised to 
dragon slayer, 238; fiinds and re- 
stores Tristan, 239; tries to kill 
Tristan, 240; journey of to Corn- 
wall, 241 ; marries Mark, 242 ; love 
of for Tristan, 242 ; oath of, 243 ; 
Tristan cannot forget, 244; carried 
to Joyeuse Garde, 244 ; death and 
burial of, 245. III. With the 
White Hands, 243 ; marries Tris- 
tan, 244; jealousy of, 245. 

I-solde'. See Iseult. 

Iss'land. Brunhild princess of, 58 ; 
Gunther's arrival in, 59 ; Nibelungs 
accompany Siegfried to, 61. 

I'SUNG. Follows Dietlieb, 1 18 ; bear 
of, 121; delivers Wittich, 122. 

I-TAL'iAN. Version of Roland, 130, 
141 ; cycle of romances, 302 ; love 
of the marvelous, 302, 307. 

It'a-ly. Alboin conquers, 87 ; Ort- 
nit master of, 94; Amaling land 
same as, 121 ; viking raids in, 276; 

settlements in, 281 ; Brutus expelled 
from, 307. 

I-TO'NIE. Sister of Gawain, 198. 

I'var. Son of Ragnar, 274; a crip- 
ple, 275 ; kills Eystein's magic cow, 
276 ; surrenders to Ella, 279 ; takes 
up abode in Lunduna Burg, 280; 
power of, 280. 

I-wa-net'. Arthur's squire, helps 
Parzival, 191. 

I 'wo. Prince of Tarasconia, 156; 
Renaud marries daughter of, 156; 
treachery of, 158; Renaud saves, 

Jack the Giant Killer. Origin of 
tale of, 308. 

Jam'bas. Son of Ortgis, 114. 

James, St. Explains vision to Char- 
lemagne, 140; promises help to 
Christian army, 287. 

Jarl Her'rand. Father of Thora, 

Jer'as-punt. Virginal's castle of, 

Jer'i-cho. Walls of Pamplona like 
those of, 140. 

Je-ru'sa-lem. Ogier besieges, 138 ; 
Godfrey of Bouillon king of, 139, 
161 ; Hugues king of, 139 ; Charle- 
magne's pilgrimage to, 139; Galyen 
returns to, 140; Renaud offered 
crown of, 161 ; Vespasian's com- 
mission to, 183. 

Jew. The sacrilegious, 300. 

Jews. Persecute Joseph of Arima- 
thea, 183 ; lend money to Cid, 293, 

John. Son of Fierefiss, and founder 
of Knights Templars, 200 ; Prester, 

Jo'kul. Njorfe's eldest son, takes 
Sogn, 249 ; magic arts of, 250. 

Jo'seph of Ar-i-ma-the'a. And the 
Holy Grail, 183 ; institutes the 
Round Table, 184; carries Holy 
Grail to Glastonbury, 185 ; Merlin's 
Round Table like that of, 208. 

Jo'Sl-ANE. Daughter of Frimoutel, 
and mother of Sigune, 188. 

JOYEUSE (zhwa-yez'). Sword of 
Charlemagne, 137. 

JoYEUSE Garde. Guinevere at, 220, 



229; Lancelot buried at, 233; 

Iseult at, 244. 
Ju'das. Sin of, 184. 
Judgment of God. Reynard appeals 

to the, 5 1 ; in favor of Thiedric, 

148 ; Cid appeals to the, 288. 
Ju'Ll-us C^'SAR. Father of Oberon, 

166, 210. 
Jutes. See Geates. 
Jut'land. Alfsol princess of, 270. 

Kan'tart. Son of Henning, 38. 

Kar'deiss. Son of Parzival, and 
king of Belripar, 201. 

Kay, Sir. Foster brother of Arthur, 
210; sends Arthur for a sword, 

Kling'sor. . Castle of, 197; captives 
of, 197 ; Gawain's adventures with, 

Knights of St. John, 301. 

Kra'ke. Beauty and wit of, 273; 
wooed by Ragnar, 273 ; becomes 
queen of Denmark, 274; Danes 
disapprove of, 274; story of, 274. 

Kriem'hild. Same as Gudrun, 53 ; 
dream of, 54; Siegfried goes to 
woo, 55 ; sees strength of Siegfried, 
56; meets Siegfried after victory, 
57 ; wooing of, 58 ; marriage of, 62 ; 
goes to the Nibelungen land, 64; 
goes to Worms, 64; quarrels with 
Brunhild, 65 ; anxiety of, 66 ; parts 
from Siegfried, 67; grief of, 68; 
mourning of, 69; goes to Lorch, 
71 ; wooed by Etzel, 71 ; Riidiger's 
promise to, 72, 83 ; journey of to 
Gran, 73 ; lures Burgundians into 
Hungary, 74 ; quarrels with Hagen, 
77; Dietrich defies, 78; bribes 
Blodelin, 80; urges Huns to slay 
Hagen, 81; sets fire to hall, 82; 
Gunther and Hagen captives of, 84 ; 
kills Gunther and Hagen, 84; death 
of, 84; Rose Garden of, 120; Swan- 
hild daughter of, 123; Etzel mar- 
ries, 126. 

Kry'ant. Son of Henning, 38. 

Kun'DRIE. Curses Parzival, 196; 
death of, 200. 

Kun'hild. Sister of Dietlieb, kid- 
naped by Laurin, 118; rescued by 
Dietrich, 119; delivers Dietrich 

and knights, 119; marriage and 
realm of, 120. 

KiJR' en-berg, Von. Supposed author 
of " Nibelungenlied," 53. 

Kur've-nal. Retainer of Blanche- 
flem, 235 ; joins Tristan in Corn- 
wall, 236 ; accompanies Tristan to 
Ireland, 238 ; goes to Brittany for 
Iseult, 244. 

Lady of the Lake. Vivian the, 
211; lays spell upon Merlin, 212; 
brings sword to Arthur, 216; 
Lancelot fostered by, 219; Arthur 
a prisoner of, 244. 

Lam'bert le Cort. Author of 
" Alexandre le Grant," 305. 

Lam Go-£-ma-got'. Same as Plym- 
outh, 309. 

Lam'pe. lUtreated by Reynard, 37 ; 
psalm-singing of, 38 ; slain at Male- 
partus, 46 ; head of, 47 ; Reynard 
confesses murder of, 48 ; Reynard's 
excuses for murder of, 49. 

Lan'ce-lot du Lac, Sir. Ogier 
joins, 138; legend of, 204; hero 
of several poems, 219; youth of, 
219; love and insanity of, 220; 
rescues Guinevere, 221, 226, 229 ; 
sees Holy Grail, 221, 226; knights 
Sir Gareth, 221 ; and Sir Galahad, 
224; vow of, 225 ; and Elaine, 227- 
229; Arthur's anger against, 230; 
visits Guinevere, 233 ; death and 
burial of, 233 ; Tristan like, 242 ; 
Iseult at castle of, 244. 

Lan-go-bar'di-an. Cycle of ro- 
mances, 86-99; nobles reject Hel- 
migis, 88 ; scepter given to Rother, 
88 ; queen, Oda becomes, 93. 

Lan'go-bards. Same as Langobar- 
dians, settle in Pannonia, 86 ; quar- 
rel between Gepidse and, 87. 

Last Supper. Holy Grail used for 
the, 183. 

Latin. Version of Reynard, 35 ; 
poem of Walther von Wasgenstein, 
124; chronicle attributed to Tur- 
pin, 129; version of Roland, 130; 
version of Tristan, 234 ; epics, 303 ; 
writers and Alexander, 305. 

Lau'rin. Adventures of with Diet- 
rich and knights, 118- 120. 



La-vin'i-a. Niece of, mother of Bru- 
tus, 307. 

La'waine, Sir. Brother of Elaine, 

Laz'a-rus, St. Rodrigo's vision of, 

Lear, King. Shakespeare's tragedy 
of, 309. 

Leicester (les'ter). Founded by 
King Leir, 309. 

Leir, King. Founder of Leicester, 


Le-o'de-graunce. King of Scot- 
land, Arthur and, 217. 

Le-o-ge'ci-a. Brutus hears oracle 
at, 308. 

Leon (la-6n'). Don Alfonso king 
of, 288; Don Garcia buried in, 

Le-pan'to. Huon and Rezia stop 
at, 174; Sherasmin parts from 
Huon at, 177. 

Lieb'gart. Same as Sidrat, 97; 
magic eggs of, 98 ; waits for return 
of Ortnit, 99 ; suitors of, 99 ; Wolf- 
dietrich's compassion for, 107; 
Wolfdietrich saves and marries, 
108; mother of Hugdietrich, 109; 
Dietrich marries, 127. 

Lil-ien-por'te. Siege of, 103. 

Loch'heim. Nibelungen hoard 
buried at, 71. 

Lo'cri-a. Named by Locrine, 309. 

Lo-crine'. Son of Brutus, 309. 

Lod'brok. See Ragnar. 

Lode'stone Rock. Ogier wrecked 
on the, 138. 

Lod-ger'da. Ragnar marries and 
forsakes, 271. 

Lo'hen-grin. Story of Else and, 

Lo'ki. See Haloge. 

Lom'bards. Same as Langobards, 
87; Rother complains of king of, 
90; Ortnit king of, 94; Wolfdietrich 
rules, 108; Charlemagne subdues, 

129. 137- 
Lom'bar-dy. Oda returns to, 94; 
Sidrat goes to, 97 ; Liebgart to se- 
lect king of, 99 ; Ortnit's ancestors 
in, 100; Wolfdietrich starts for, 
104 ; Wolfdietrich returns to, 109 ; 
Didier king of, 136. 

Lon'don. St. Stephen's Church in, 
215 ; Arthur comes to with Sir 
Hector, 215 ; Guinevere's journey 
to, 230 ; founding of, 280, 309. 

Long'fel-low. " Tales of a Way- 
side Inn " of, 136, 202. 

Lon-gi'nus. Rosamund seeks, 88. 

LoRCH. Kriemhild's sojourn at, 71. 

Louis the Fat, 280. 

Lov'el, Lord. Story of, 245. 

Luces de Gast. Version of Tristan 
by, 234. 

Lu'ci-FER. Fall of, 182. 

LuD. Descendant of Brutus, 309. 

Lu'de-gast. King of Denmark, 
threatens to invade Burgundy, 56. 

Lu'de-ger. King of Saxons, Gun- 
ther's wars with, 56, 66, 

Lud'wig. King of Normandy, 
suitor of Gudrun, 28 ; kills Hettel, 
29; tries to drown Gudrun, 30; 
killed by Herwig, 33. 

Lu'na. Vikings besiege, 276; Nor- 
mans' stratagem to enter into, 277; 
Don Garcia a prisoner in, 290. 

Lun-du'na Burg. Same as London, 

Lym-Fiord. Ragnar's victory at, 

Lyn-eite'. Story of Gareth and, 

Ly'o-nel.. Cousin of Lancelot, 219. 

Ly-o-nesse'. Arthur's boyhood spent 
in, 226; Meliadus lord of, 234; 
Tristan recovers, 236. 

Ma-bri-an'. A chanson de geste, 

Mac'e-don. Alexander king of, 305 ; 
early history of, 305. 

Ma-cho-rell'. Father of Sidrat, 95 ; 
Alberich carries challenge to, 97 ; 
sends dragon eggs to Liebgart, 98. 

Malagigi (mal-a-je'je). The necro- 
mancer, same as Malagis, 152; and 
Bayard, 153; rescues Aymon, 154; 
joins Renaud, 157; warns Renaud 
of Richard's peril, 159; strategem 
and escape of, 160. 

Mal'a-gis. See Malagigi. 

Mal'e-bron. Servant of Oberon, 
170, 180. 

Ma-le-par'tus. Brown the bear 



reaches, 39 ; Hintze at, 41 ; Bellyn 
and Lampe accompany Reynard to, 
46; Grimbart at, 47. 

Mal'o-ry. Old legends used by, 
204, 219. 

Man'tu-a.' Ermenrich takes, 123. 

Map, Walter. Works of, 182, 204, 

Mark. King of Cornwall, Meliadus 
visits, 235; Tristan and Kurvenal 
visit, 236 ; Tristan praises Iseult to, 
238; Tristan emissary of, 240; 
Iseult marries, 242; indifference 
of, 242 ; illtreats Iseult, 244 ; gives 
orders for burial of Tristan and 
Iseult, 245. 

Mar-seilles'. Joseph of Arima- 
thea at, 184. 

Marsiglio (mar-sel'yo). Saracen 
king, 144; killed by Roland, 145. 

Mar-sil'i-US. See Marsiglio. 

Mar'tin. I. Parson's son, 41. II. 
Ape met by Reynard, 49. 

Mar'tin Gon-za'lez. Cid's fight 
virith, 286. 

Ma'ry. Queen of England, marries 
Philip of Spain, 232. 

Mat'e-lan. Hilde goes to vi'ith Het- 
tel, 27 ; Herwig comes to, 28 ; Hart- 
mut comes to, 29. 

Mau'gis. a chanson de geste, 152. 

Max-i-mil'i-AN I. Emperor of 
Germany, 22. 

Mayence (ma-yens'). Charlemagne's 
vfife buried at, 131. 

Me-de'a. In mediaeval literature, 

Me-le'a-gans. Guinevere a captive 
of, 221. 

Me-li'a-dus. I. Lord of Lyonesse, 
vifars against Morgan, 234 ; marries 
Blanchefleur, 235. II. Squire of 
Mark, 242. 

Meran (ma'ran). Berchther duke 
of, 89; Wolfdietrich educated at, 
103 ; Hildburg at, 103. 

Mer'ki-nau. Accuses Reynard, 47. 

Mer'lin. Round Table to be con- 
structed by, 184; legend of, 204; 
real and mythical, 205 ; birth and 
infancy of, 206 ; the prophecies of, 
206, 207, 208, 210, 231; builds 
Stonehenge and castle at Carduel, 

208 ; changes Uther into form of 
Gorlois, 209; Arthur virhen an in- 
fant confided to, 210, 214; magic 
arts of, 211; and Vivian, 211-213; 
reveals Arthur's parentage, 215; 
adviser of Arthur, 216, 217; frames 
laws for knights of Round Table, 

Mer-o-vin'gi-an. Rulers of the 
Franks, 36. 

Meur'vin. a chanson de geste, 139. 

Midsummer-Night's Dream, 163. 

Mil' an. Invested by imperial army, 

MiL'oN. Father of Roland, 133, 
141 ; quest of for jewel, 134, 135. 

MiM'uNG. Sword of Wittich, 115; 
Wittich loses, and Hildebrand re- 
stores, 116; Heime steals, 121; 
Wittich recovers, 122. 

Mo-HAM'med. Ferracute calls upon, 


Mon-tau-BAN'. Renaud builds for- 
tress at, 156; siege of, 156; Renaud 
escapes to, 157; Charlemagne again 
besieges, 159; Charlemagne a cap- 
tive in, 160; Aymon's sons escape 
from, 160; Renaud returns to, 161. 

Montfaucon (m6n-fo-k6n'). Ad- 
venture of Renaud and Bayard at, 


Mont'glave, GutR'iN DE. A dian- 
son de geste, 139. 

Mont-sal'vatch. Holy Grail on, 
185 ; Frimoutel weary of life on, 
189; Parzival's first visit to, 193; 
Gawain on the way to, 197 ; Parzi- 
val's second visit to, 199; Parzival 
king on, 200; Lohengrin's return 
to, 201 ; Else goes to, 203. 

Moor. Fierefiss a, 200. 

Moor'ish. Kings defeated by Cid, 
282; kings send tribute to Cid, 
287; kings warn Cid of danger, 

Moor'land. Kingdom of Siegfried, 

Moors. Enmity between Christians 
and, 154; Saforet king of, 156; 
and Holy Grail, 182; Rodrigo 
meets the, 283, 285, 287, 289, 294, 
296 ; Tizona won from the, 285 ; 
Don Alfonso joins, 290; Don Al- 



fonso wars against, 293 ; at Valencia, 
294, 296, 298, 300 ; flee at sight of 
Cid, 299. 

Mor'dred. Related to Arthur, 230 ; 
treachery of, 230; death of, 231. 

Mor'gan. I. Meliadus wars against 
234 ; kills Meliadus, 235 ; killed 
by Tristan, 236. II. Same as Fata 
Morgana, 95. 

Mor-ga'na. Predictions of, 135 ; 
Ogier meets, 138 ; mother of Meur- 
vin, 139; mother of Oberon, 166; 
steals Arthur's scabbard, 231; con- 
veys Arthur to Avalon, 232. 

Mo-ROC'co. Bucar king of, 298. 

Mo'ROLD. Comes to Cornwall to 
claim tribute, 236; challenged and 
slain by Tristan, 237; Iseult dis- 
covers murderer of, 240. 

MoRTE d'Arthur. By Malory, 219. 

Moses. A hypocrite, 184. 

Mun-ta-bure'. In mirage, 95 ; Ortnit 
besieges, 97. 

Na'ge-ling. Sword of Beowulf, 12. 
Na'gel-ring. Sword of Dietrich, 

III, 112, 117. 
Naismes de BAVllfcRE (nam de bav- 

e-6r'). " Nestor of the Carolingian 

legends," 144. 
Nantes. Arthur's court at, 191. 
Na-varre'. Charlemagne's wars in, 

141, 143; Don Sancho king of, 

289; Infantes of, 297. 
Nen'ni-us. Writes romances, 204, 


Nes'tor. Naismes de Bavi^re like, 

Neth'er-lands. Reynard in the, 
35 ; kingdom of the, 54. 

New Troy. Same as London, 309. 

Ni'be-ldng-en. Hoard, 55, 63, 70, 
77, 127; land, 55,61, 64. 

Ni'be-lung-en-lied, 53-85; Gu- 
drun alluded to in, 22 ; Germany's 
greatest epic, 53; end of, 85; in- 
cidents in, 126, 242. 

Ni'be-lungs. Treasure of, 53; fol- 
lowers of Siegfried, 6i ; Brunhild 
escorted by, 62; guard Siegfried's 
son, 64; mourning and wrath of, 
69 ; Burgundians called, 75 ; fall of, 

Nic-o-de'mus. Slain by Jews, 183. 

Njor'fe. King of Uplands, friend of 
Viking and Halfdan, 248; sons of 
attack Viking's sons, 249. 

No'bel. King of the animals, 36; 
anger of against Reynard, 37; 
Brown returns to, 41 ; Reynard be- 
fore, 43 ; hears of treasure, 45 ; 
pardons Reynard, 46; discovers 
Lampe's murder, 47. 

Non'nen-worth. Hildegarde re- 
tires to convent of, 150; Roland 
lingers near, 151. 

Nor'man-dy. Ludwig king of, 28; 
Gudrun taken to, 29; Ortwine 
comes to, 32 ; RoUo settles in, 280. 

Nor'mans. Conquer England, 9; 
pursued by Hegelings, 29 ; and 
Hegelings, 32; invade Paris, 138; 
strategy of, 277; defeated by Ella, 
279 ; found Lunduna Burg, 280. 

NoRNS. Frithiof's vision of, 267. 

Norse. Origin of Gudrun, 22; lit- 
erary treasures, 246. 

NORSE'MEN. Tristan and the, 235, 

North. Literary treasures of, 246 ; 
gods and heroes of, 246; Thorsten 
owner of great treasures of, 251. 

North Cape. Discovered by Othere, 

North-gal' LIS. Queen of, 232. 

North'men. Kidnap Tristan, 235. 

Nor-thum'ber-land. Ella king of, 

Nor'way. Wilkina land is, 121 ; 
ships from, 235 ; Halogaland in, 
246; Uplands in, 248; Ringric 
in, 255 ; Ragnar's sojourn in, 271. 

Nu'dung. Son of Riidiger, death of, 

O'be-ron. I. Poem by Wieland, and 
opera by Weber, 163. II. King 
of fairies, 163; Huon sees, 166; 
magic horn of, 167; gives horn 
and goblet to Huon, 168 ; ring of, 
169; shelters Huon, and sends 
Malebron to his aid, 170; Rezia's 
vision of, 171; promises aid to 
Huon and Rezia, 1 72 ; comes to 
Huon's aid, 173; warns Oberon, 
174; Huon disobeys, 175; Titania 



and, I75> 176, 179; Huon rescued 
by, 178, 181; brings Huon to 
fairyland, 179, 181; Julius Caesar 
father of, 210. 

O'da. Daughter of Constantine, 89 ; 
Rother wooes and wins, 89-93; 
kidnaped by magician, 93 ; Rother 
rescues, 94; Helche daughter of, 

O'den-wald. Death of Siegfried in 
the, 67, 71. 

0-Dl'Ll-A. Wife of Dietmar, 110. 

O'DIN. Hrothgar a descendant of, 
9; Skeaf sent by, 10; Loki comes 
north with, 246 ; Sigurd Ring dedi- 
cates himself to, 266; ancestor of 
Danish kings, 269. 

Of'ter-ding-en, Von. Supposed 
author of " Nibelungenlied, " 53; 
" Heldenbiich " partly compiled 
from, 86. 

O'gier le Dan'ois. a chanson de 
geste, 135. 

O'GIER THE Dane. A paladin of 
Charlemagne, 129; a hostage, 135; 
marries Bellissande, 136; admiration 
of Danes for, 136; quarrels with 
Charlemagne, 136; terror and es- 
cape of, 137; made king of Eng- 
land, 138; shipwreck of, 138; magic 
crown and ring of, 138 ; son of, 139 ; 
boast of, 140; defeated by Ferra- 
cute, 142 ; death of, 148. 

Old Troy. Sigeminne queen of, 
105 ; Wolfdietrich and Sigeminne 
return to, 106. 

Ol'ger. See Ogier. 

Ol'i-vant. Horn of Roland, 139; 
blasts on, 145, 146. 

Ol'i-ver. Paladin of Charlemagne, 
129; champion of Duke of Genoa, 
139; fights with Roland, 139, 149; 
boast of, 140 ; son of, 140 ; advises 
Roland to blow his horn, 145 ; death 
of, 147, 148; sister of, 149; and 
Malagigi, 160. 

Or-gueil-leuse', Duchess. Adven- 
ture of Gawain and, 197; Gawain 
marries, 198. 

Or'i-hjs, Lord. Parzival's adven- 
ture vdth wife of, 191 ; Parzival de- 
feats, 196. 

Ork'ney Islands. Conquest of, | 

250 ; Frithiof sent to, 258 ; Frithiof 
and Bjorn in, 259. 

Or-lan'do Fu-ri-o'so, 211, 302. 

Or-lan'do In-na-mo-ra'to, 302. 

Ort'gis. a magician, holds Vir- 
ginal a captive, 113 ; Jambas son of, 

Ort'heb. Son of Kriemhild, 73; 
killed by Hagen, 80. 

Ort'nit. I. Poem of the ninth cen- 
tury, 86. II. Lombardian king, 
vision of, 94 ; vow of, 95 ; adventure 
of with Alberich, 96; adventures 
and marriage of, 97; goes to kill 
dragons, 98; death of, 99; ances- 
tors of rule over Lombardy, 100; 
Wolfdietrich wants aid of, 104; 
Wolfdietrich vows to avenge, 107 ; 
ring of, 108; widow of, 127. 

Or'trun. Sister of Hartmut, 30; 
saved by Gudrun, 7)'^ ; marries Sieg- 
fried, 34. 

Ort'wine. I. Son of Hettel and 
Hilde, 27 ; comes to rescue Gudrun, 
31; wooes Hildburg, 32; marries 
Hildburg, 34. II. Vassal of Gun- 
ther, 56 ; goes to Hungary, 75. III. 
Son of Helche, 125. 

0-san'trix. Etzel wars against, 121 ; 
Hertnit brother of, 121. 

Os'born. See Asprian. 

Os'TRO-GOTHS. Defeated by Alboin, 

O 'there. Discoverer of North Cape, 
sons of, 18. 

Ot'nit. See Ortnit. 

Ot'u-el, Sir. Story of, 143. 

Ox'ford. Walter Map, Archdeacon 
of, 182. 

Pad'auwe. Same as Padua, Die- 
trich takes, 126. 

Pad'u-a. See Padauwe. 

Pal'mer-ins. Cycle of, 302. 

Pam-plo'na. Siege of, 140, 141. 

Pan-dra'sus. King of Greece, 
defeated by Brutus, 308. 

Pan-no'ni-a. Gepidse and Lom- 
bards in, 86. 

Papillon (pa-pe-y6n'). The magic 
horse, 138. 

Par'IS. I. Judgment of, iji ; picture 
of in act of kidnaping Helen, 304. 



II. Invasion of, 138; news of 
Roland's death brought to, 14.9; 
Renaud's journey to, 157 ; Malagigi 
in, 158; Renaud's body to be 
brought to, 162; Huonin, 163, 179; 
siege of, 180. 

Par-me'ni-a. Meliadus lord of, 234. 

Par'zi-val. I. Poem of, 182. II. 
Birth of, 188; youth of, 189 ; starts 
out into the world, 190; adventures 
of on the way to Nantes, 191 ; wins 
armor, 192 ; visits Gurnemanz and 
Belripar, and marries Conduira- 
mour, 192; visits Montsalvatch, 193, 
199 ; seeks Holy Grail, 195 ; 
knighted by Arthur, 196; Gawain 
seeks, 196 ; fights Gawain, 198 ; at 
the hermit's, 199; meets Fierefiss, 
199; made king of Holy Grail, 
200; children of, 201; Lohengrin 
son of, 203 ; sees Holy Grail, 226. 

Pas'sau. Kriemhild's arrival at, 73 ; 
Burgundians at, 76 ; funeral mass 
at, 85. 

Pel'li-nore, Sir. Arthur and, 216. 

Pen-drag'on. Son of Constans, 
205 ; war of Britons under, 208. 

Pen'te-cost. Arthur's feast at, 217, 

Pep'in. Charlemagne son of, 129. 

Per-i-de'US. A giant, kills Alboin, 

Per'si.a. Sultan of, 298 ; Alexander's 
conquest of, 306. 

Pe'ter, St. Cid's vision of, 298. 

Phil'ip. I. Of Spain, oath of in 
favor of Arthur, 232. II. Of Mace- 
don, death of, 305. 

Pi-Az'zA OF St. Mark's. Stone lion 
on the, 281. 

Pier-le-pont'. Castle of Aymon, 
154; Aymon's sons leave, 156; 
Charlemagne comes to, 157. 

Pil'grim. Bishop of Passau, wel- 
comes Kriemhild, 73 ; Burgun- 
dians visit, 76 ; mass for the dead 
by, 85. 

Pin'a-bel. Champion of Ganelon, 

Plym'outh. Same as Lam Goe- 
magot, 309. 

Po'land, 125. 

Pol-y-ol'bi-on. By Drayton, 310. 

Pon'ce de Le-on'. Quest of, 306. 

Pope. Asks aid of Charlemagne, 
129; Huon and the, 164, 174, 175, 
180; reconciles Arthur and Lance- 
lot, 229 ; emperor of Germany com- 
plains to, 287 ; and Ferdinand, 288 ; 
and Cid, 288, 289. 

Por'tu-gal. Hildburg a princess 
of, 23. 

Po'RUS. Alexander's fight with, 

Pres'ter John. Holy Grail in- 
trusted to, 201. 

Pri'am. Descendants of, 307. 

Pyr'e-nees. Defeat in the, 130, 144 
Aymon in the, 154. 

Ra'ben. Same as Ravenna, taken 
by imperial army, 123; battle of, 

Rag'nar Lod'brok. 269-281; saga 
of, 269; successor of Sigurd Ring 
when only fifteen, 270; marries 
Lodgerda, 271 ; marries Thora, 
272 ; sons of, 272, 274, 275, 276, 
279; and Krake, 273-275 ; battles 
of, 277; and Ella, 278; death of, 

Ra-mi'ro, Don. Quarrel of with 
Ferdinand, 286 ; wars against Don 
Sancho, 289. 

Rand'wer. Son of Ermenrich, death 
of, 123. 

Ra-oul' de Beau-vais'. Metrical 
version of story of Tristan attrib- 
uted to, 234. 

Rauch-El'se. The witch, Wolfdie- 
trich meets, 104 ; transformation of, 

Ra-ven'na. Longinus intrenched in, 
88; same as Raben, 123. 

Re-deem'er. Blood of the, 183. 

Red Knight. Parzival and the, 
191, 192. 

Red Sea. Huon at the, 165, 170. 

Rei'ne-ke Fuchs. Epic of, 35 ; 
Goethe's poem of, 36. 

Rei'nold. See Renaud. 

Re-naud' de Mon-tau-ban'. Pala- 
din of Charlemagne, 129 ; defeated 
by Ferracute, 142 ; body of, 148 ; 
son of Aymon, 154; receives Bayard 
and Flamberge, 155; prowess of, 



ISS; avenges Alard and flees, 156; 
marries Clarissa, and builds Mont- 
auban, 156; goes to rescue his 
brothers, 157 ; loses and recovers 
Bayard, 157, 158; betrayed by 
Iwo, 158; saves Iwo, 159; and 
Roland, 159; on Montfaucon, 159; 
sacrifices Bayard, l6i ; sets out for 
Holy Land, 161 ; death of, 162. 

Re-panse' de Joie. Daughter of 
Frimoutel, 1 88; jeweled garment 
sent by, 193 ; bears Holy Grail, 
193, 199; marriage of, 200, 201. 

Reussen (rois'sen). Vlyas prince of 
the, 94 ; Waldemar king of, 125. 

Rey'nard the Fox, 35-52; epic of, 
302 ; importance of story of, 303. 

Re'zi-a. Princess, dream of, 171 ; 
bridal array of, 172; escapes with 
Huon, 173; embarks at Ascalon, 
174; conversion and marriage of, 
175; Amanda same as, 175- 

Rhine. Franks cross, 35 ; Xanten 
on, 54, 64; Siegfried rides down 
along, 55 ; Gunther's journey on, 
59, 61 ; Nibelungen hoard in, 71, 
77; Worms on, 120; Charlemagne 
dwells near, 129, 130; Roland's 
name connected with, 150; Non- 
nenworth in, 15 1; Renaud's body 
cast in, 162. 

Rhon, Von DER. Edited " Helden- 
buch," 86. 

Rhone. Island in the, scene of duel, 

139. 149- 
Rhym'er. Thomas of Ercildoune 

the, 234. 
Rich'ard. Son of Aymon, 154; 

prisoner of Roland, 159. 
Ri-chou'de. I. Wife of Titurel, 

188. II. Daughter of Titurel, 188. 
Rim'stein. Revolt and defeat of, 

Ri-nal'do de Treb-i-zon'de. A 

chanson de geste, 152. ' 
Ring. Son of Viking, 248. 
Ring'ric. Sigurd Ring king of, 

255; Frithiof in, 267. 
Ris'PA. Horse of Heime, 115. 
Ri-va-lin'. See Meliadus. 
Rob'ert de Bor'ron. Works of, 

182, 204, 205, 219, 234. 
Rob'ert of Sic'i-ly, King. In 

Longfellow's " Tales of a Wayside 
Inn," 302. 

Rod-ri'go Di'az. See Cid. 

Ro'gen-wald. Son of Ragnar, 274; 
death of, 276. 

Rog'er. See Hrothgar. 

Rog'ers. Translator of " Reineke 
Fuchs," 36. 

Rohand (ro'an). See Kurvenal. 

Ro'land. Paladin of Charlemagne, 
129 ; birth and childhood of, 133 ; 
fights knight of the Ardennes, 134, 
135 ; knighted, 135 ; duel with Oli- 
ver, 139; horn of, 139, 145, 146; 
character of, 141 ; combat with Fer- 
racute, I42 ; combat with Otuel, 
143; at battle of Roncesvalles, 144; 
kills Veillantif, 145 ; breaks Duran- 
dana^i46; death of, 147; squire 
of, 14S; betrothed to Aude, 149; 
bethrothed to Hildegarde, 150; 
death and burial of, 151; treats 
with Ayraon, 154; and Renaud, 
159; Renaud intrusts his family to, 
l6i; Italian cycle treats of, 302. 

Ro'land, Chan'son de, 130. 

Ro'land Rise. See Meliadus. 

Ro'lands-eck. Retreat of Roland, 

Rolf Gang'er. Same as RoUo, 280. 

Rol'lo. Famous giant, independence 
of, 280. 

Rom'a-burg. Wolfdietrich goes to, 
109; Dietrich visits, 117; Dietrich 
crowned at, 127; threatened inva- 
sion of, 277. 

Ro-mance' Literature. General 
survey of, 301-310. 

Roman de Troie (ro-mon' de trwa). 
Popularity of, 304. 

Ro'mans. And Jews, 183; claim 
^neas, 307; Britain invaded by, 


Rome. Martin the ape on his way to, 
49; same as Romaburg, 109, 117, 
127, 277; Charlemagne crowned 
at, 155; Huon at, 164, 174, 180; 
Sherasmin at, 177; Merlin goes to, 
210; Don Sancho visits, 288; early 
history of, 304 ; Alexander conquers, 

Roncesvalles (ron-ces-val'yes). 
Battle of, 129, 140, 144-147, 150. 



Ros'A-MUND. Wife of Alboin, 87; 
rebellion and death of, 88. 

Rose Garden. I. Laurin's, 118, 
120. II. Kriemhild's, 120. 

Ro'SEN. Sword of Ortnit, 96, 98; 
Wolfdietrich finds, 108. 

Rot'her. King of Lombardy, 88 ; 
wooing of, 89-91 ; captures Imelot, 
92 ; kidnaps Oda, 92 ; second jour- 
ney to Constantinople, 93 ; secures 
his wife, 94; accompanied by 
Berchther, 100. 

Rou-me'li-a. Wolfdietrich's ride 
through, 104. 

Round Table. Knights tell Parzi- 
val of, 190; Parzival admitted to 
the, 196, 198; knights of, 200, 224, 
225 ; legend of, 204 ; Merlin estab- 
lishes, 208; Arthur receives, 217; 
at Camelot, 218 ; Lancelot the prin- 
cipal knight of, 219, 220; Gareth 
admitted to, 222 ; Geraint one of 
knights of, 222 ; feast at, 225 ; Sir 
Bedivere a knight of, 231. 

Ru'AL. See ICurvenal. 

R&CK'E-NAU, Frau, 50, 51. 

Ru'di-ger. Sues for Kriemhild, 71, 
72 ; oath of, 72, 82 ; castle of, 73 ; 
warns Burgundians, 76; entertains 
Burgandians, 77; refrains from 
tournament, 79 ; safe-conduct 
granted to, 81 ; forced to fight, 83 ; 
death of, 83 ; at Rose Garden on 
Rhine, 120; saves Dietrich, 125; 
son of, 126. 

Ru'molt. Squire of Gunther, 75. 

Runes. Magic letters of the North, 

Ru-OT'ZE. Giantess who hatches 
magic eggs, 98. 

Rus'siA. A part of Reussen, 125. 

Rus-Ti'ci-EN DE Pise, 234. 

RUY Dl'AZ. See Cid. 

Ry'ance. King of Ireland, last bat- 
tle and death of, 21 7. 

Sa-bene'. Guardian of Hildburg, 
102; machinations of, 103 ; besieges 
Lilienporte, 104 ; defeated and slain, 

Sa-bri'na. Drowned in Severn, 309. 

Sa-fo-ret'. Aymon's sons serve 
and kill, 156. 

Saint 0-mer'. Ogier a prisoner at, 

Saints'bur-y, 204. 
Salisbury (sawlz'ber-i). Fortress 

on, 205, 207. 
Sam'son. Father of Dietmar, no. 
San'cho, Don. King of Castile, Cid 

serves, 288 ; a prisoner, 289 ; freed 

by Cid, 290 ; robs his sisters, 290 ; 

banishes and recalls Cid, 291 ; death 

of, 291. 
San'gre-al. Same as Holy Grail, 

San Pe'isio de Car-den'a. Given 

to Cid, 285 ; Cid buried at, 300. 
San-ti-a'gi ■je Com-pos-te'la, 140, 

285. ■■.., 
Sar'a-cen. Huon's encounters with, 

Sar'a-cens. Charlemagne defeats, 

129, 140, 141, 144, 147, 148; de- 
vice of, 143; Roland and, 145 ; Sher- 

asmin escapes from, 165 ; Titurel 

wars against, 185. 
Sar-a-gos'sa. Marsiglio in, 144; 

Cid besieges, 289. 
Sav'ior. Dish used by, 183. 
Sax'ons. Liideger king of, 56; led 

by Hengist, 208 ; Arthur wars 

against, 217- 
Sax'o-ny. Burgundian army enters, 


Scan-di-na'vi-a. Iliad in, 304. 

Scan-di-na'VI-an. Raids and settle- 
ments, 280; cycle, 301, 302. 

Scot'land. Arthur's name in, 214; 
Leodegraunce king of, 217; same 
as Albania, 309. 

Scratch-foot. Death and epitaph 

of. 39- 

Seine. Bayard drowned in, l6l ; 
Renaud casts Flamberge in, 161. 

Sen'lis, Countess of, 138. 

Sev'ern. Named after Sabrina, 309. 

Shakes'peare, 163, 305, 309, 310. 

Shar-fe-NEB'be. Killed by Rey- 
nard, 47. 

Sher-as-min'. Same as Gerasmes, 
Huon finds, 165 ; accompanies 
Huon into forest, l56; Oberon dis- 
pleased with, 167; forgiven by 
Oberon, 168; journeys to Bagdad, 
171 ; helps Huon to elope with 



Rezia, 1^3; journeys to France, 
174; quest of, 177; in fairyland, 
- 179; duel of, 180; casket stolen 
from, 180. 

Si'bich. Wife of, 122 ; kills Ermen- 
rich, 126 ; death of, 127. 

Sic'-ILY. Part of Ortnit's realm, 94. 

SiD'RAT. Vision of, 95 ; elopes with 
Omit, 97. 

SlE'GE-UND. I. Mother of Sieg- 
fried, 54; death of, 64. II. A 
swan maiden who prophesies to Ha- 
gen, 75. 

Siege Per'il-ous. Vacjit place at 
Round Table called, 184 ; Parzival 
in the, 196; Merlii In the, 213; 
the empty, 218; G_iahad in the, 

SlEG'FRIED. I. King of Moorland, 
suitor of Gudrun, 28; invades Zea- 
land, 28; joins Hettel and Herwig, 
29 ; marriage of, 34. II. Same as 
Sigurd, 53 ; parentage and birth of, 
54; goes to Worms, 55; prowess 
ofi 56, 57; wooes Kriemhild, 58; 
with Gunther in Issland, 58-61; 
Nibelung warriors of, 61 ; marriage 
of, 62 ; conquers Brunhild, 63 ; in 
Xanten, 64 ; invited to Worms, 64 ; 
punishes Kriemhild, 65; Hagen 
plots against, 66; betrayal and 
death of, 67 ; burial of, 69 ; mourn- 
ing for, 70; body of removed to 
Lorch, 71 ; Kriemhild mourns for, 
73; Hagen confesses murder of, 
78 ; sword of, 84 ; Swanhild daugh- 
ter of, 123; Kriemhild widow of, 

Sieg'mund. Father of Siegfried, 54; 
welcomes Kriemhild, 64; visits 
Woms, 64; hears news of Sieg- 
fried's death, 69. 

Si'ge-bant. Father of Hagen, 23; 
death of, 24. 

Si-ge-min'ne. Same as Rauch- 
Else, tran.- formation of, 105 ; mar- 
riage and kidnaping of, 105 ; res- 
cued by Wolfdietrich, 106; Lieb- 
gart resembles, 107; magic shirt 
given by, 108. 

Si-ge-not'. Dietrich's adventure 
with, iiz; Hildebrand's encounter 
with, 113. 

Si'gune. Daughter of Josiane, 188; 
Parzival finds, 19I, 195. 

Si'gurd. Same as Siegfried, 53; 
Danish dynasty traces origin to, 
269; Fafnisbane, 274. 

Si'gurd Ring. Sues for Ingeborg's 
hand, 255 ; kings of Sogn make 
treaty with, 256 ; Frithiof offers to 
conquer, 257; marries Ingeborg, 
261, 269; Frithiof visits, 264; hunt- 
ing expedition of, 265 ; death ot, 
266, 270; son of, 266; marries Al- 
fild, 269; wooes Alfsol, 270. 

Si'gurd the Snake-eyed. Son of 
Ragnar, 275. 

Si-mil'de. See Kunhild. 

Si-milt'. See Kunhild. 

SiN'DOLT. Helps Siegfried, 56. 

Sin'tram. Dietrich delivers, 117. 

Skeaf. Son of Odin, 9; career of, 

Skiold. Same as Skeaf, 9, 10. 

Skiol'dungs. Dynasty of, 9. 

Sod'om.. Huon and Amanda deluded 
by apples of, 175. 

SoGN. Kingdom of taken by Jokul, 
249; kings of, Sigurd Rings threaten 
war against, 255. 

Sol-dan 'A. City given to Cid, 285. 

Sol-ta'ne. Forest where Parzival 
was brought up, 188. 

SoL'wAY Firth. Battle of, 205. ' 

Sons of Ay'mon, 152-162. 

So't^. . A pirate, stole Volund ring, 

Spain. Charlemagne in, 129, 140, 

143, 144; Roland in, 149, 150; 

Aymon in, 154; Montsalvatch in, 

185 ; Arabs in, 282 ; patron of, 285. 
Span-gar-he'de. Ragnar at, 273. 
Span'iards. Legend of Holy Grail 

christianized by, 182; Richoude 

belongs to, 188; battle cry of, 287. 
Span'ish. Cortes, 297; cycle, 302. 
Spen'ser. " Faerie Queene" of, 211, 

Stei'er-mark. Province of given to 

Dietlieb, 118; Dietlieb of, 120. 
Ste'phen, St. Church of, 215. 
Stone'henge. Work of Merlin, 

208, 211. 
Stu'das. Father of Heime, 115. 
Styr'i-a. See Steiermark. 



Su'DERS. Ortnit sets sail for, 97. 

Sul'tan. Daughter of, 164; Amanda 
to be sold as slave to, 176 ; gardens 
of, 177; Amanda refuses to marry, 
178; sends embassy to Cid, 298. 

Su'SAT. Dietrich goes to, 124; 
Waldemar's son a captive in, 12S ; 
Dietrich's mournful return to, 126. 

SviTH'l-OD. Eystein king of, 274. 

Swan'hild. Daughter of Siegfried 
and Kriemhild, death of, 123; 
brothers of, 126. 

Swan Knight. Lohengrin the, 203. 

Swe'den. Eadgils king of, 19; 
part of Wilkina land, 121 ; Viking 
in, 247; Svithiod same as, 274. 

Swedes. Beovifulf conquers, 12. 

Swe'dish. Writers, 246; princess, 
Hunvor a, 247; king, Eystein the, 

Swem'mel. Hungarian minstrel, 74. 

Swin'eurne, 204, 234. 

Swords. See Nageling, Nagelring, 
Mimungf MckesaXf Joyeuse^ Duran- 
dana, Altecler, Plamberge, Excali- 
bur, Angurvadel, Tizona, Colada. 

Syr'i-a. Ortnit's journey to, 95. 

Tan'tris. Same as Tristan, 238. 

Ta-ras-co'NI-a. Iwro prince of, 156. 

Tarn'kap-pe. Siegfried and, 55, 60 ; 
Laurin and, 1 19. 

Tchio-na-tu-lan'der. AndSigune, 
188; Parzival to avenge, 191 ; 
shrine of, 195. 

Teg-n£r'. Writings of, 246, 267. 

Tem'plars. Guardians of Holy Grail 
called, 186; divine guidance of, 
187; anticipation of, 189; disap- 
pointment of, 199 ; customs of, 
202; renown of, 301. 

Ten'ny-son, 204. 

Teu-ton'ic. Cycle, 301. 

Thames. Brutus visits the, 309. 

The-od'O-RIC. Of Verona, same as 
Dietrich of Bern, no, 127; tomb 
of, 128. 

The-OD-o-RI'cus. And Roland aX 
Roncesvalles, 146, 147. 

The'seus. Adventures of, 249. 

Thes-sa-lo-ni'ca. Walgundof, ICO; 
Hugdietrich at, 100; Berchther at, 

Thie'dric. Roland's squire, 148. 

Thing. Convoked by Hygd, 18; 
Beowulf elected by, 19; Bel6 con- . 
vokes, 252 ; Ragnar recognized by, 

Thom'as, Lord, 245. 

Thom'as of Er'cil-doune, 234. 

Tho'ra. Daughter of Jarl Herrand, 
271 ; Ragnar rescues and marries, 
272 ; sons and death of, 272. 

Tho'rer. Son of Viking, 249. 

Thor'sten. I. Saga, 246. II. Son 
of Viking, receives Angurvadel, 249; 
shipwrecks of, 250; marriage and 
conquests of, 250 ; at Framnas, 25 1 ; 
father of Frithiof, 251, 260, 261 ; 
last interview with Bel^, 252 ; death 
and burial of, 252. 

Thu'ri-sind. King of Gepidae, 86 ; 
granddaughter of, 87. 

Tin-ta'gel. In Cornwall, Gorlois 
lord of, 209; Uther's secret visit 
to, 209 ; Mark at, 235 ; Tristan at, 
236 ; Iseult to go to, 240. 

Ti-ta'ni-a. Queen of the fairies, 
17s; carries off Huonet, 176; re- 
stored to Oberon's favor, 179. 

Tit'u-rel. And the Holy Grail, 
182-203; V°" Eschenbach's poem 
of, 182; birth of, 185; vision of, 
185; sees Holy Grail, 186; builds 
temple, 186 ; guardian of Holy Grail, 
187; children of, 188; intercedes 
for Amfortas, 189; crowns Parzi- 
val, 200 ; disappearance of, 200. 

Ti-TU'RI-SONE. Pilgrimage of, iSj. 

Ti'tus. Disease of, 183 ; miraculous 
cure of, 184. 

Ti-zo'na. Sword of Cid, won from 
Moors, 285, 294; given to Infante 
of Carrion, 296 ; recovered by Cid, 
297; dead Cid draws, 300; inscrip- 
tion on, 300. 

To-le'do. School of magic at, 153 ; 
Don Alfonso at, 290 ; Cid at, 291 ; 
Don Alfonso a prisoner at, 292 ; 
Yahia ruler of, 294 ; Cortes at, 297. 

To'ro. City given to Dofia Elvira, 
288 ; taken by Don Sancho, 290. 

Tour'mont. Huon at, 169. 

Tours. Origin of name, 308. 

Tran-syl-va'ni-a. Herrat princess 
of, 126. 



Trev're-zent. Son of Frimoutel, 

i88 ; Parzival visits, 199. 
Tri-ent'. Dwelling place of dragons, 

Tris'tan. Ogier and, 138; legend 

of, 204; story of, 234-245. 
Tris'trem. See Tristan. 
Tro'i-lus. And Cressida, story of, 


Tron'je. Hagen of, 124. 

Troy. Sigeminne queen of, 105 ; 
downfall of, 303. 

Tu'NIs. Huon, Amanda, Fatima, 
and Sherasmin in, 177; Galafre 
king of, 180. 

Tu-rol'dus. Probatle author of 
" Chanson de Roland," 130. 

Tu-RO'NUS. Nephew of Brutus, 308. 

Tur'PIN. Latin chronicle attributed 
to, 129, 140; adviser of Charle- 
magne, 131, 132, 147, 156. 

Tyre. See Suders. 

Ty-ro'le-an, 113, 118. 

Ul'fin. Councilor of Uther, 209. 
U-LYS'SES. In mediaeval literature, 


UoTE (wo'te). See Ute II. 

Up'lands. Njorfe king of, 248. 

Ur-Ra'ca, Dona. Receives Zamora, 
288 ; loses Zamora, 289 ; pleads for 
Alfonso, 290; besieged by Don 
Sancho, 290; reviles Cid, 291; 
warns Alfonso of Sancho's death, 

U'ta. See Ute II. 

U'te. I. Queen of Burgundy, 53 ; 
interprets Kriemhild's dream, 54; 
at tournament, 57; Pilgrim, broth- 
er of, 73 ; disapproves of journey to 
Hungary, 74. II. Marries Hilde- 
brand, 112; rejoined by Hilde- 
brand, 127. 

U'ther. Son of Constans, 205; 
fights with Vortigern and Hengist, 
208 ; Merlin builds palace for, 208, 
211 ; changed into form of Gorlois, 
209; marries Yguerne, 210; death 
of, 210; father of Arthur,2l4, 215; 
a descendant of Brutus, 309. 

Val-duer'na. Given to Rodrigo, 

Vale of Thorns. See Roncesvalles. 
Va-len'ci-a. Taken by Moors, 294, 

300; recovered by Cid, 294; Cid 
■ master of, 295 ; Moors besiege, 296, 

298; Cid's return to, 296, 298; 

Christians cannot hold, 299; evac- 
uation of, 300. 
Val-hal'la. Ragnar summoned to, 

Val'kyrs. Brunhild one of the, 274 ; 

Ragnar warned by, 278. 
Va-ran'gi-an Guard. The, 281. 
Veillantif (va-an-tef). Roland 

kills, 145. 
Ven'ice. Lion of, 281. 
Ver'gen. Place on Danube, 73. 
Ve-ro'NA. Same as Bern, 77, 1 10; 

Theodoricof, no; tomb of Theodo- 

ric near, 128. 
Ve-ron'i-ca, St. Story of, 183. 
Ves-pa'si-an. Sends commission to 

Jerusalem, 183; at Jerusalem, 184; 

at Rome, 185. 
Vi-a'nb. Renaud meets Aude at 

siege of, 149. 
Vi-en'NA. Library at, 22; wedding 

at, 73- 

VlK. Frithiof enters the, 264. 

Vi'king. Grandson of Haloge, 247 ; 
early adventures and marriage of, 
247; second marriage of, 248; ad- 
ventures of sons of, 248 ; iEgir gives 
EUida to, 250. 

ViR'GlL. In " Rome la Grant," 307. 

Vir'gin-al. Dietrich's adventure 
with, 113, 114; Dietrich forsaken 
by, 123. 

Viv'l-AN. And Merlin, 211-213; 
Lancelot stolen by, 2ig. 

Vol'ker. Follower of Gunther, re- 
ceives gifts, 77; ally of Hagen, 78, 
79; kills Hun, 80; might of, 81. 

Vol' SUNG. The race, no. 

Vol'sung-a sa'ga, 53, 269. 

Vo'lund. The smith, 115,250; ring 
of, 253, 257. 

Vor'ti-gern. Made king and builds 
fortress, 205; messengers of, 206; 
death of, 208; advised by Merlin, 

Vos'ges. See Wasgenstein. 

Vul-ca'nus, Mount. Malagigi's ad- 
venture at, 153. 



Wace. Writer of metrical tale of 
Brutus, 307. 

Wa-chil'de. AndWittich, 115, 126. 

Wack'er-LOS. Complaint of, 36, 38. 

Wag'ner. Used mediaeval legends, 
182, 204, 234. 

Wal'de-mar. King of Reussen, 
Dietrich wars against, 125. 

Wa-leis'. Battle at, 27. 

Wales. Arthur's name in, 214. 

Wal'gund of Thes-sa-lo-ni'ca. 
Hagdietrich's visit to, 100; finds 
grandson with wolf, 102. 

Wal'ther von Was'gen-stein. 
Champion of Ermenrich, 118; at 
Gerimsburg, 122 ; a hostage in 
Hungary, 124; elopes with Hilde- 
gunde, 124; marries Hildegunde, 

Was'gen-stein. Walther and Hilde- 
gunde flee to, 124. 

Wat. Follower of Hettel, 25 ; ath- 
letic skill of, 26; wounds Hagen, 
27 ; fosters Ortwine, 27 ; to be 
Gudrun's deliverer, 31 ; challenges 
Normans, 32 ; kills Gerlinda, 33. 

Wax'muth. Son of Hildburg, 103 ; 
and Hugdietrich, 103. 

Way'land. See Wieland. 

Weal'theow. Wife of Hrothgar, 15. 

We'ber. " Oberon " of, 163. 

Welsh. Poetry, 204; version of 
Tristan, 234. 

We'ner, Lake. Battle of, 249. 

Wer'bel. Hungarian minstrel, 74; 
Hagen strikes off hand of, 80. 

We'ser. See Wisara. 

Wes'ter-lands. Queen of, 232. 

West-pha'li-a. Dortmund in, 162. 

Whit'a-by. Ragnar at, 271 ; second 
battle at, 276. 

Wie'land. I. The smith, weapons 
of, 115, 154. II. "Oberon" of, 

Wif'lis-B0RG. Hastings at, 276. 

Wig'laf. Avenges Hardred, 19; 
accompanies Beowulf, 19 ; saves 
Beowulf's life, 20. 

Wil-de'ber. Joins Dietrich, 117; 
in Hungary, 121 ; escape of, 122. 

Wil-ki'na Land. Dietrich invades, 

Win'ches-ter. See Camelot. 

Wi-sa'ra. Falster wood on banks 
of, 117. 

Wit'ig. See Wittich. 

Wit'tich. Son of Wieland, starts 
for Bern, 115; conquers Dietrich, 
116; goes to Rose Garden, 118, 
120; made prisoner, 121; released, 
122 ; pursued by Dietrich and saved 
by Wachilde, 126. 

Wolf-die'trich. Rescue of, 102; 
at Meran, 103 ; besieges Constanti- 
nople, 103, 108; adventures with 
Rauch-Else, 104; marries Sige- 
minne, 105 ; kills Drusian, 106 ; 
adventure with Belligan, 106 ; kills 
dragon and marries Liebgart, 108 ; 
descendants of, 109. 

Wolf'hart. Nephew of Hilde- 
brand, 112; in Rose Garden, 118, 

Wol'fram von Esch'en-bach, 86, 
182, 204. 

Worms. Capital of Burgundy, 53 ; 
Siegfried at, 55, 57, 58; Kriemhild 
at, 64; Siegfried carried to, 68; 
mourning at, 6g; Riidiger at, 71, 
82; minstrels at, 74; chaplain re- 
turns to, 75 ; tidings carried to, 85 ; 
Rose Garden at, 120; Gunther and 
Hagen do not return to, 124. 

Wul'pen-sand. Battle of, 29. 

Xan'ten. Tournament at, 54; Sieg- 
fried and Kriemhild at, 64. 

Xi-me'na, Dona. Seeks to avenge 
her father, 284 ; marries Cid, 285 ; at 
Zamora, 287 ; Cid parts from, 293 ; 
executes last wishes of Cid, 299. 

Ya'hi-a. Grandson of Alimaymon, 

Y-GUERNE'. Wife of Gorlois, 209; 

marries Uther, 210; mother of 

Arthur, 215. 
Y-solde'. See Iseult. 
Y'voiR-iN OF' Mont'brand. Uncle 

of Esclarmonde, 180. 
Y' wain. Grandson of Yguerne, 209. 
Za-mo'ra. Cid returns to, 287 ; Dona 

Urraca at, 288, 290; Don Sancho 

takes, 289; siege of, 290, 291 ; Don 

Alfonso's arrival at, 292. 
Zea'land. Herwig's kingdom, 28. 


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DEC 30 \cia^